RocketVax: good efficacy of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine

RocketVax SARS-CoV-2 (RVX-sCPD9) significantly outperforms mRNA and adenoviral vector-based technologies in animal models.

RocketVax’s live attenuated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, RVX-sCPD9, demonstrates higher efficacy than existing mRNA and viral vector vaccines in animal models. The data show that RVX-sCPD9 has key advantages over existing COVID-19 vaccines. Induces strong immunity after single dose vaccination and boosts after primary mRNA vaccination.

Currently approved vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 based on classical (protein subunit) or newer technologies (mRNA, adenoviral vectors) express only parts of the Spike protein. Therefore, the efficacy of these vaccines in the ongoing control of SARS-CoV-2 variants is likely to be limited. The rapid and dramatic circulation of Omicron variants has also raised the question of whether approved vaccines can effectively protect the human population from reinfection and symptomatic diseases. RocketVax aims to overcome these limitations by developing several vaccine candidates using live attenuated SARS-CoV-2 viruses that are incompetent and slow to replicate.

One of the RocketVax vaccines, based on live attenuated SARS-CoV-2 virus called RVX-sCPD9, confirmed high preclinical efficacy. A new study led by Dr. Jakob Trimpert and Dr. Dusan Kunec of the Freie Universität Berlin, has shown that intranasal administration of RVX-sCPD9 activates a wide range of components of the mucosal and systemic immune systems, indicating a potential way to end the pandemic. This excellent efficiency is made possible by the innovative SARS-CoV-2 virus attenuation technology, which reduces virus replication to a harmless level while exposing all viral proteins to the immune system. Therefore, RVX-sCPD9-induced immunity is stronger and vaccinated individuals are less likely to be infected with current or future variants of the virus.

In addition, since sCPD9 is administered intranasally, it induces strong mucosal immunity in the upper respiratory tract, thus providing excellent protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection at the site of virus entry. Importantly, RVX-sCPD9 has shown exceptional results compared to existing vaccine technologies, whether mRNA or adenovirus-based vectors. RocketVax has shown effective neutralization of all relevant variants: Beta, Delta and especially Omicron, which have escaped neutralization by mRNA or adenovirus-based vaccines. When administered as a booster vaccine after primary mRNA vaccination or adenovirus vaccination, RVX-sCPD9 has been shown to be superior to double mRNA vaccination as well as double adenovirus vaccination.

In short, several of the proven benefits of the live attenuated RVX-sCPD9 vaccine make it a promising candidate for further clinical development:

  • Excellent activation of all components of the immune system
  • Effective neutralization of the feared SARS-CoV-2 variants
  • Exceptional performance compared to widely used mRNA or adenovirus-based vaccine technologies.
  • Practical application as de novo or booster vaccination by simple intranasal administration without a needle.

The RVX-sCPD9 vaccine was discovered at the Freie Universität Berlin by prof. Nikolaus Osterrieder, Dr. Dušan Kunec and Dr. Jakob Trimpert. The discovery of RVX-sCPD9 was based on the construction of the cloned SARS-CoV-2 virus by Professor Volker Thiel of the Institute of Virology and Immunology and the University of Bern, Switzerland. The project is supported by the National Research Program “Covid-19” (NRP 78) of the Swiss National Science Foundation and the German Research Foundation.

RocketVax AG, a subsidiary of Swiss Rockets AG, has entered into a new partnership with a consortium of renowned research institutions. Cooperation with the consortium provides RocketVax with another portfolio of technologies. The members of this new consortium are leading institutes from Switzerland and Germany: the IVI Institute of Virology and Immunology, the University of Bern, the University of Geneva, the Freie Universität Berlin and the Friedrich-Loeffler Institute. The consortium is led by Professor Volker Thiel of the Institute of Virology and Immunology and the University of Bern, a pioneer in coronavirus research.

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