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New study at Singapore could underpin a 'dream' vaccine for future outbreaks

19 August 2021 | News

Boosts hopes for a broad vaccine to combat COVID-19 variants and future coronavirus outbreaks

image credit- shutterstock

image credit- shutterstock

Scientists from Duke-NUS Medical School and National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) in Singapore have found that 2003 SARS survivors who have been vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine produced highly potent functional antibodies that are capable of neutralising not only all known SARS-CoV-2 variants of concerns (VOCs) but also other animal coronaviruses that have the potential to cause human infection.

This finding, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, is the first time that such cross-neutralising reactivity has been demonstrated in humans, and further boosts hopes of developing an effective and broad-spectrum next-generation vaccine against different coronaviruses.

“Our study points to a novel strategy for the development of next-generation vaccines, which will not only help us control the current COVID-19 pandemic, but may also prevent or reduce the risk of future pandemics caused by related viruses,” said Professor Wang Linfa from Duke-NUS EID (Emerging Infectious Diseases) programme, who is the senior corresponding author of this study.

The team is currently conducting a proof-of-concept study to develop a third-generation vaccine against different coronaviruses (3GCoVax) as well as broad neutralising antibodies for therapy and is looking to recruit individuals who recovered from SARS infection in 2003.

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