February 2023

CoV (SARS-CoV-2)

Since early 2020, a deadly pandemic caused by a new Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has threatened public health, world economies, and quality of life on a global scale. As of January 2023, the COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in >669 million confirmed cases and >6.7 million deaths worldwide (https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html).

Unlike the previous CoV outbreaks, which were successfully managed using public health measures, containment of SARS-CoV-2 will require a concerted effort involving vaccines and therapeutics, along with public health measures. While the successes with first generation of CoV vaccines have been remarkable, it is becoming clear that a better and long-term solution to end the current pandemic and prevent future outbreaks is desperately needed.

CURRENT SITUATION AND FUTURE NEEDS

During the COVID-19 outbreak, mutations and deletions in the Spike protein gene have produced a succession of fast spreading and pathogenic SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) with the potential to escape vaccine-induced immunity. Despite the deployment of >13 billion doses of CoV vaccine worldwide, >15 million new cases of COVID-19 were reported during the month of December 2022 alone (https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html). These stark numbers emphasize the need for a superior, next-generation vaccine that induces broad-based, cross-reactive, and long-lasting immunity.

 

In January the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced a recommendation that future generation vaccines should be given on an annual basis. This certainly confirms the belief of the scientific community that COVID with will be with us for a long time.

GRANTS AND CONTRACTS

In February 2023, TechImmune, LLC was awarded a business (SBIR) grant from the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH) to develop a Universal Vaccine Against Multiple Coronavirus Variants of Concern.

Additional grants pending Spring 2024.

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