World's first plant-derived covid vaccine
GS Paper - 3 (Biotechnology)
The world’s first plant-derived Covid-19 vaccine was cleared for use in Canada, creating a novel immunization to combat the virus from a unit of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corp. and Philip Morris International. The vaccine named Covifenz was jointly developed by Medicago Inc., a biopharma company owned by Mitsubishi Chemical and Philip Morris and based in Quebec City, and GlaxoSmithKline Plc.
More about Covifenz vaccine:
- This is the first authorized COVID-19 vaccine developed by a Canadian-based company, and the first that uses a plant-based protein technology.
- Medicago's Covifenz is authorized as a two-dose regimen of 3.75 micrograms per dose, to be administered 21 days apart.
- In clinical trials, the vaccine was found to be 71 per cent effective against symptomatic infection and 100% effective against severe disease caused by COVID-19.
- The Covifenz vaccine data suggest efficacy against multiple variants, including Delta.
- Clinical trials with Covifenz showed efficacy against the Delta and Gamma variants, and data also suggested efficacy against Alpha, Lambda and Mu variants.
- Covifenz is made from plant-based proteins that look like coronavirus and uses Glaxo’s adjuvant that contains DL-alpha-tocopherol, squalene, polysorbate 80, phosphate-buffered saline.
- The other ingredients include potassium phosphate monobasic anhydrous, anhydroussodium chloride, sodium phosphate dibasic anhydrous, and water for injection.
- Medicago uses living plants as bioreactors to produce a particle that mimics the target virus.
- The virus-like particles, or VLPs, are developed through a process of synthesis, infiltration, incubation, harvest, and purification.