GlaxoSmithKline agreed to provide Clover Biopharmaceuticals with its pandemic adjuvant system as part of efforts to develop a vaccine against COVID-19 infections, the Chinese company said Monday. Under the research collaboration, Clover will evaluate the adjuvant system in preclinical studies of its trimeric SARS-CoV-2 spike protein-based coronavirus vaccine candidate dubbed S-Trimer.
Thomas Breuer, chief medical officer of GlaxoSmithKline's vaccines unit, noted that the deal forms part of the company's "strategy to make our adjuvant technology available to selected partners who have a promising vaccine candidate against the newly emerged coronavirus." Earlier this month, the UK drugmaker agreed  to make its pandemic vaccine adjuvant platform technology available as part of a collaboration with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to speed the development of an effective immunisation against COVID-19.
According to Clover, once the genomic DNA sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was known, its scientists started designing the viral spike-protein construct and completed its gene synthesis. The company then used its Trimer-Tag technology to produce the S-Trimer subunit vaccine. "Utilising our…Timer-Tag technology that has been shown to be recognised by antibodies produced by multiple previously-infected coronavirus patients, S-Trimer is being rapidly developed to support global efforts in combating this current and any future coronavirus outbreaks," remarked Joshua Liang, Clover's chief strategy officer.
A number of other companies are also seeking to produce an effective vaccine against COVID-19 infections, with Sanofi recently teaming up  with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to develop an immunisation based on the French drugmaker's previous work on SARS. Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson is also collaborating  with BARDA to speed up development of a COVID-19 vaccine, with technologies that it used to develop its Ebola vaccine.