Baylor, Texas Children’s to accelerate COVID-19 vaccine testing
Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development today announced an extension of their ongoing collaboration with Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) to advance its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, pursue a key manufacturing step and fill sufficient vials to accelerate the transition into Phase 1 clinical trials.
IDRI, a nonprofit global health organization, has expertise in vaccine formulations and adjuvant technologies and ensuring their availability and accessibility for use in low- and middle-income countries.
Through this alliance, Baylor and Texas Children’s, in conjunction with PATH, a global nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public health, will work with IDRI to formulate and vial enough of its COVID-19 vaccine to accelerate its testing into Phase 1 clinical trials. The aim is to have the Covid-19 vaccine evaluated in humans later this fall. Together, these institutions will prepare the stage for the advancement of a low-cost, safe and effective vaccine to prevent COVID-19 locally and globally.
“An important and crucial step in the manufacturing of a safe and efficacious vaccine is its formulation with appropriate adjuvants,” said Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi, associate dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor and co-director of Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development. “Our goal is to collaborate with IDRI and rapidly take our vaccine candidate, currently stored in the freezer, and manufacture clinical grade vaccine formulations to accelerate their development and testing efforts in the clinic.”
“Our collaboration with IDRI has already allowed us to advance important neglected tropical disease vaccine formulations, such as the human hookworm and schistosomiasis vaccines, from the bench and into the clinic,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, also co-director of Texas Children’s Center for Vaccine Development and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor. “Similarly, we will accelerate our COVID-19 candidate and ensure we will have sufficient material to rapidly evaluate its safety and efficacy in the clinic.”
“IDRI is committed to the rapid development of an effective and safe vaccine to prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2,” said Dr. Corey Casper, IDRI’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our long-standing collaborations with the talented scientists at Baylor and vaccine experts at PATH allow us to quickly bring our manufacturing and adjuvant technology to this partnership. We believe this will significantly speed the development of a COVID-19 vaccine by reducing existing domestic limitations on production.”
This partnership is supported through the combined resources of Baylor and Texas’s Children’s Hospital including partial grant support received from LOVE Tito’s, the philanthropic arm of Tito’s Vodka, Inc.