Phage-based vaccines offer significant potential benefits by establishing a platform approach with the ability to quickly adjust the vaccine in response to mutations in the coronavirus. Additionally, phage-based vaccines are self-adjuvanted, meaning they automatically activate and boost immune response, with the ability to display multiple antigens. The therapeutic use of phage in humans is well understood and has a favorable safety profile.
“A vaccine against COVID-19 will be a critical enabler to protect our service members and the American people. [APT’s] research contract will expedite prospective efforts to deliver a safe and effective phage-vaccine.”Thomas Dunn, Acting Program Manager
Naval Advanced Medical Development, Naval Medical Research Center
Image: APT’s phage-based vaccines are engineered to express epitopes of the corona virus on the surface of the capsid so it can be administed and elicit an immunity response. (Image provided by American Society for Microbiology.)
Recent data suggests that immunity to SARS-CoV2 may be transient and require frequent booster vaccinations to maintain protective levels of immunity. APT is exploring the potential for an oral delivery system in the form of a lozenge for the vaccine and any necessary booster doses.
The potential benefits of a phage-based vaccine include versatility for route of administration (mucosal and intramuscular), including a potential oral lozenge, adaptability to virus mutations, speed of development and cost-effectiveness. These benefits, along with the established safety profile of phage, offer hope as a potential tool in mitigating this terrible pandemic. Additionally, we have the capacity to rapidly scale up production in the continental United States. We are fully committed to deploying our facilities and our staff to fight the impact of this public health crisis.
If phase 1 trials demonstrate success, APT anticipates future contracts to advance the vaccine through Phase 3 studies and approval.
Phage-based vaccine offer potential benefits over other vaccine technologies:
- Excellent safety profile of phage
- Extremely rapid to adapt new vaccines to potential mutations in coronavirus
- Lower cost of manufacturing vs alternative vaccine approaches
- Self-adjuvanting to enhance immune response