Development of Vaccines to Prevent SARS-CoV-2 Infection of High Risk Individuals

Bell, John C | $1,936,150

Ontario Ottawa Hospital Research Institute 2020 CIHR Operating Grant

The physical-distancing strategy currently implemented in the Covid-19 pandemic in Canada has been very effective in preventing the vast majority of Canadians from being infected by SARS-CoV-2. This essential short-term strategy is saving lives, but paradoxically will leave most of our citizens without protective immunity and a recurrent outbreak is both predictable and likely without an effective Canadian vaccine strategy. A global effort has been initiated to identify an effective Covid-19 vaccine, testing a variety of vaccine platforms and strategies. Unfortunately, few of these are being developed, tested or manufactured in Canada leaving our population in a very perilous situation where our vaccine needs could be de-prioritized by foreign governments. This project is aimed at bringing together a multi-disciplinary team of scientists and clinicians to rapidly create and manufacture a vaccine to prevent a second wave of infections. We are using scientists and infrastructure, already available in Ottawa, Montreal, Calgary and the US (Covington Louisiana) to rapidly create, compare and contrast different vaccine strategies in animal models. Our best candidate will then be manufactured in a pure enough form to inject in humans. We will complete all of the data and regulatory documents to prepare an application to Health Canada to allow the initiation of a clinical trial in healthy volunteers.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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