COVID-19 is an emerging focus for EpicentRx, a private biotech focused on multiple immune-mediated disorders. The La Jolla, California–based company is developing a next-gen COVID vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 based on nucleocapsid rather than spike protein.
The recombinant replication-competent adenoviral vaccine that expresses the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein could be more resistant to COVID-19 variants.
The real-world effectiveness of spike-protein-based COVID-19 vaccines has generally dipped since their integration as a wave of SARS-CoV-2 variants has emerged.
But while the spike protein mutates frequently, nucleocapsid doesn’t.
“The RNA for the virus is wrapped around it,” said EpicentRx CEO Dr. Tony Reid. “If it mutates and alters its three-dimensional structure very much, the RNA will unwind, and the virus will be nonviable.”
EpicentRx plans to work with partners to take a nucleocapsid-based next-gen CO…