Canadian vaccines ready for clinical trials

The Ottawa Hospital will manufacture three COVID-19 vaccines for clinical trials in human subjects, which will increase production capacity in Canada at a critical time.

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A first DNA vaccine called Covigenix VAX-001, developed by Entos Pharmaceuticals, based in Edmonton, Alta., Will be manufactured at the Ottawa Hospital Biotherapeutics Center, in conjunction with Alberta Cell Therapy Manufacturing, a service provider to the biopharmaceutical industry.

This vaccine has shown promising results in the laboratory and remains stable at room temperature, making it easy to transport, store and administer without specialized equipment.

The Ottawa Hospital Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Center is currently only developing investigational COVID-19 vaccines for clinical trial purposes. With increased capacity, it could in theory manufacture vaccines for the general population.

“The development of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines has proceeded at a breakneck pace, but we cannot stop now if we are to achieve immunization of every person in Canada and around the world,” said said Dr. Duncan Stewart, Vice-President, Research at The Ottawa Hospital.

This vaccine will feed into clinical trials at the Canadian Center for Vaccinology in Halifax, Nova Scotia, as soon as Health Canada approves the project, which should be done within the next week.

Details of the other two vaccines supported by The Ottawa Hospital have not yet been released.

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