A Coronavirus Vaccine Project Takes a Page From Gene Therapy

A Coronavirus Vaccine Project Takes a Page From Gene Therapy


Researchers at two Harvard-affiliated hospitals are adapting a proven form of gene therapy to develop a coronavirus vaccine, which they expect to test in people later this year, they announced on Monday.

Their work employs a method already used in gene therapy for two inherited diseases, including a form of blindness: It uses a harmless virus as a vector, or carrier, to bring DNA into the patient’s cells. In this case, the DNA should instruct the cells to make a coronavirus protein that would stimulate the immune system to fight off future infections.

So far, the team has studied its vaccine candidates only in mice. Tests for safety and potency in monkeys should begin within a month or so at another academic center, the researchers said. But two of seven promising versions are already being manufactured for studies in humans.



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