More than 10 research teams around the world are working on developing a highly effective product that will be available “the next time a virus passes from animals to humans,” reports Bloomberg Businessweek. And according to the American magazine, the prospect of such a universal vaccine is not so far off.
“What if we only need one dose?” asks Bloomberg Businessweek in one of its editions of December 13. For the American magazine, the need for a universal vaccine against coronavirus is obvious. In the last twenty years, three diseases linked to coronaviruses have emerged: SARS, in 2003, due to Sars-CoV; Mers, in 2012, due to Mers-CoV; and now Covid-19, due to Sars-CoV-2.
And according to Bloomberg Businessweek, this universal vaccine is not such a distant prospect. The weekly explains that at the beginning of the year, when new variants of Covid-19 were emerging in different parts of the world, Linfa Wang, a researcher at the National University of Singapore, had the idea of testing patients contaminated with Sars-CoV in 2003 and after being vaccinated against Covid-19.
“What Wang found surprised him very much,” reports Bloomberg Businessweek. In fact, affected patients had developed “types of superantibodies” that, during a laboratory experiment, were shown to be capable of neutralizing five strains of coronavirus that had never before contaminated humans. These results were “the main proof” that it is possible to develop a “universal vaccine against coronavirus,” says the magazine.
Economic logic, an obstacle?
More than ten research teams, as well as a handful of biotech companies, are also working on the issue. “We want a product with very broad efficacy, so that we can have a vaccine the next time a virus passes from animals to humans,” explains Melanie Saville of theNGO Coalition for Innovations in Epidemic Preparedness.
Among the avenues considered, we obviously find theRNA messenger used in particular for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines against Covid-19. But some researchers are also testing nanoparticle-based vaccines, while others are looking at the role that “warrior” immune cells, T lymphocytes, might play.
However, the path that could lead to research for a universal vaccine is not without its difficulties. Stéphane Bancel, the French head of Biotech Moderna, told Bloomberg Businessweek that he considered this type of vaccine to be “a good idea” and noted that researchers have been working unsuccessfully on this type of vaccine for years.
The main hurdle in the race for a universal vaccine is more economical than scientific, the journal concludes:
Laboratories like Moderna or Pfizer must achieve billions of dollars in sales selling their vaccines and booster doses. […] This may not lead them to prioritize a vaccine against all variants, which would solve the problem once and for all. “
Created in September 1929, a few weeks before the collapse, the business magazine Business Week remained for eighty years in the bosom of the American publisher McGraw-Hill. But in the early 2000s, his income
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