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Crop Biotech Update

Human Trials Begin for COVID-19 Plant-Based Technology Vaccine

July 22, 2020

Medicago announced that it has administered the first doses of its vaccine against COVID-19 to human volunteers. The results are expected to come out as early as October of this year.

The Quebec City-based company is able to develop a clinical-grade vaccine candidate in a matter of weeks using plant-based technology. They create their products with virus-like particles (VLP) instead of animal products or live viruses. The VLPs mimic the shape of the virus and allows the human body to recognize them, thus creating an immune response in a non-infectious way.

The Phase I Clinical Trials is a partially blinded study with 180 healthy participants. Three doses, 3.75, 7.5, and 15 micrograms, of the recombinant Corona Virus-Like Particle (CoVLP) vaccine candidate will be evaluated. The doses may be administered with the vaccine candidate alone, or with an adjuvant in a prime-boost regimen. An adjuvant is considered important during a pandemic because it boosts the immune response and reduces the amount of antigen required per dose. This allows the production of more vaccine doses thus maximizing the number of people that can be protected.

The Phase 2/3 Trial is also expected to initiate in October 2020.

Read Medicago's press release to learn more.

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