Tonix Pharmaceuticals and Southern Research COVID-19 vaccine provides a novel vector

Tonix Pharmaceuticals and Southern Research have partnered to create a COVID-19 vaccine based on Tonix’s proprietary horsepox vaccine platform. The use of the horsepox vector will be an important addition to the 234 COVID-19 vaccines currently being developed, as it will add another vector to be used for COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, along with providing a possible safer alternative to vaccinia vectors, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. 

Repeated administration of the same vector can cause the generation of neutralizing antibodies to attack the vector present in the vaccine and reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine, or any vaccine based on a similar vector. 

The horsepox vaccine vector has an advantage in that the vector is no longer present in nature, as the horsepox virus may have been accidentally extirpated. This means that there has most likely been no previous exposure to the vector, and any vaccine administered based on it is unlikely to encounter already-present neutralizing antibodies.

Johanna Swanson, Product Manager at GlobalData, comments: “More approaches using different vaccine vectors under development can lead to a greater chance of one of these vaccines being successful. Additionally, if the vaccine requires regular booster shots, then having multiple vectors for the vaccine could extend the options for booster shots for COVID-19, should multiple candidates work as a vaccine.

“Additionally, Tonix Pharmaceuticals and Southern Research are studying samples of recovered COVID-19 patients in order to develop a blueprint of human immune response to COVID-19. This information can help vaccine developers to determine if the vaccine recipients are safely and responding to the vaccine as they would to a COVID-19 infection.”

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