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Promising clinical trial results for COVID-19 vaccine coming from Vancouver-based biotech company

Last Updated Jul 1, 2020 at 6:40 pm PDT

FILE - Specimens to be tested for COVID-19 are seen at LifeLabs after being logged upon receipt at the company's lab, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, March 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

If this works, a vaccine for COVID-19 could be ready early next year

That's what the head of a Vancouver-based biotechnology firm says about promising clinical trial results

President and CEO of Acuitas Therapeutics is now working with a German company to help develop a cure

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — A promising update is coming from a Vancouver-based biotechnology firm that is helping a German company to develop a vaccine for COVID-19.

Dr. Thomas Madden, the President and CEO of Acuitas Therapeutics, says preliminary results from clinical trials are good. But, “There’s still a lot more clinical studies that need to be conducted.”

“The vaccine that they’re testing appears to be generally well-tolerated and gives rise to roughly effective levels of antibody in these volunteers.”

Madden adds the company is focusing on making this medicine more effective.

“This vaccine is using a new technology called MRNA and if you inject it into the body, it would be rapidly broken down. Acuitas provides the delivery technology that protects the mRNA after it’s administered and then, carries it into the cells.”

Madden and his staff of 25 are working with BioNTech to ensure the vaccine is effective once it’s injected and there’s hope it could be available early next year.

“General expectation is that a vaccine could become available early in 2021,” he says.

“We’re very fortunate that there are a fairly large number of different vaccine candidates in development. We are hopeful that as many as those as possible will be successful.”

He says the key challenges are that once a vaccine is ready, it is making sure it is safe, then being able to make enough of it fast enough to make it globally available.