The continuous emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants has highlighted the global need to immunize the population. For this reason, the STABVAC4COV project aims to develop a vaccine against the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 that is more stable than the current ones and, consequently, easier to distribute. mRNA technology will be used for its development. In parallel, the proyect will work on the development of compounds, especially enzymes involved in the RNA synthesis process in vitro. With this knowledge, this type of vaccine will be produced more efficiently and less expensively reducing dependence on manufacturers outside the European Union.
The project is called STABVAC4COV and is part of the Science and Innovation Missions of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, having been subsidised by the CDTI with 2.8 million euros.
The company in charge of coordinating this project, CerTest Biotec, is known for being the first Spanish company to develop a qPCR test against SARS-CoV-2 and a rapid test for antigen detection, being also the first European company to obtain the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein recombinantly. To develop the new vaccine, CerTest Biotec has formed a consortium with four other companies including 53Biologics, a CDMO with extensive experience in the decoding of overexpression of biotechnology products and which is expanding its areas of expertise into enzyme development technologies for RNA synthesis, LevProt Bioscience and Lev2050, companies familiar with the expression of recombinant proteins in yeast, and Innoup Farma, a company specialising in nanotechnology innovations that will develop a nanoparticle-based formulation for vaccine dosing. In addition, in the final stages of the project, the University of Navarra and the University of Zaragoza will be involved as subcontracted centres by the coordinating company, CerTest Biotec.
In summary, the aim is to provide an efficient solution that contributes to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic not only in our country but also worldwide, and to generate new knowledge that will enable solutions to be found in the future to face possible new health challenges.