Australian science agency CSIRO has “played an important role in evaluating heat-tolerant COVID-19 vaccine formulations developed by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and biotech start-up Mynvax – against all current SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern.”
An Australia-India partnership might prove to be a giant leap forward in developing a ‘warm’ VOVID-19 vaccine as the scientists of both countries are working together.
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is an Australian Government agency responsible for scientific research.
Research published in the peer-reviewed ACS Infectious Diseases journal showed “the vaccine formulations triggered a strong immune response in mice, protected hamsters from the virus, and remained stable at 37°C up to a month and at 100°C for up to 90 minutes.”
This is a giant leap forward as the ‘cold’ vaccines require refrigeration to remain effective. For example, Oxford-AstraZeneca must be kept between 2-8°C, while Pfizer requires specialised cold storage at -70°C.
In a statement, CSIRO said that its scientists at the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness in Geelong contributed to the study by assessing vaccinated mice sera (blood samples) for efficacy against key coronavirus variants, including the Delta variant currently spreading globally, including in Sydney.
Dr S.S. Vasan is CSIRO’s COVID-19 project leader and co-author of the paper published last week. He said the Mynvax-vaccinated mice sera show a strong response to all variants of the live virus.
“Our data shows that all formulations of Mynvax tested result in antibodies capable of consistent and effective neutralisation of the Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern,” Dr Vasan said.
The peer-reviewed paper, Immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a highly thermotolerant, trimeric SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain derivative, was published by ACS Infectious Diseases on 15 July 2021.
Australian High Commission in India has applauded the partnership.
“COVID19 pandemic has made global scientific collaboration even more vital. Pleased to see this collaborative Australia-India partnership, which will play a critical role in Covid Vaccines for remote or resource-limited locations with extremely hot climates,” AHC said in a Facebook post.