UAB continues to lead the way in the development of a vaccine to prevent COVID-19.
In February, we reported that UAB was leading an anti-viral drug trial in Wuhan, China. The trial tested the safety and effectiveness of the antiviral drug Remdesivir.
Now, UAB is collaborating with Altimmune, Inc.—a biopharmaceutical company based in Maryland—in preclinical testing of a potential vaccine to prevent the virus.
Who is Altimmune, Inc?
Altimmune, Inc. is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing treatments for liver disease and immune modulating therapies.
he company is also experienced in the development of intranasal vaccine candidates for respiratory pathogens, including:
- Seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines
- Anthrax inhalation vaccine
The vaccine, named AdCOVID, was created by Altimmune, Inc. in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a single-dose vaccine delivered via intranasal spray.
Six UAB labs will work on the project, each investigating immune responses to the vaccine in mice. Altimmune, Inc. will use information gained from UAB’s preclinical study to design a clinical trial in people.
Leading one of the labs is Frances E. Lund, Charles H. McCauley Professor and Chair at UAB’s Department of Microbiology.
“We are eager to collaborate with Altimmune on this important project. The expertise and infrastructure at UAB will be invaluable to the rapid progression of this vaccine into clinical studies.”
Heading UAB Labs
In addition to Lund’s lab, here’s who is leading the other labs involved in the project:
- Troy Randall, Ph.D., professor of medicine in the UAB Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology
- Kevin Harrod, Ph.D., professor in the UAB Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine
- Rodney King, Ph.D., assistant professor
- Todd Green, Ph.D., associate professor
- John Kearney, Ph.D., professor
According to Vipin K. Garg, president and CEO of Altimunne,
“It is critical that the biotechnology industry and academic institutions work together to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, and UAB is an ideal partner to support us in this effort.”
What’s especially interesting is that Altimmune, Inc. was founded through a technology license from UAB in 1997.
Way to go, UAB! We are proud of all your dedicated work during this pandemic.