Biospace: Why we need to develop new Covid vaccines

GreenLight Biosciences features in Biospace on the need to develop new Covid vaccines.

Credit: BioSpace/Meissa Vaccines

Andrey Zarur, Co-founder and CEO of GreenLight Biosciences, speaks to Biospace about the need to develop new Covid vaccines and the innovations and learnings GreenLight have made along the way. Extracts from the article are below.

Andrey Zarur, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of GreenLight Biosciences, acknowledged the dire nature of the virus but also stressed another aspect. “We’re a family. We need to care for one another. We have a responsibility to make technological advancements available to everyone,” he said, noting low vaccination rates throughout Africa, Eastern Europe and parts of Asia. It’s also a matter of self-preservation, he explained. “If a large portion of the global population isn’t vaccinated, people get infected. Then the virus mutates and comes back to us.”…

GreenLight also is taking a newer approach, focusing on improved mRNA vaccines and more scalable manufacturing. As Zarur said of mRNA vaccines, “we’ve learned what works and doesn’t work,” and so have the opportunity to use those learnings to make mRNA vaccines “more stable, more efficient and better in general.” The mRNA vaccine being developed by GreenLight isn’t yet in clinical trials, he said.

At a single dose, Zarur said, “we’re achieving titers of neutralization antibodies and activation of T cells that are comparable with data from approved vaccines.” GreenLight plans to begin a Phase I clinical study in South Africa in Q1 2022 to determine whether those results will translate to humans.

For any of these vaccines to gain traction in developing regions (where refrigeration may not be reliable), temperature stability will be an issue. GreenLight is working toward that goal with several different lipid nanoparticles, some of which are stable at room or refrigerated temperatures.

Read the full article here.

Find out more about how GreenLight manufactures RNA here.