Vaccine development using genetic information of new coronavirus Nagasaki University June 30, 18:39

As the development of new coronavirus vaccines is progressing all over the world, Nagasaki University, which has a long history of infectious disease research, is working on the development of unique vaccines using the genetic information of the virus.

A lot of research is being carried out around the world on the development of a new coronavirus vaccine, and in some cases clinical trials for commercialization have begun.

Under these circumstances, Nagasaki University, known for infectious disease research, is also working on its own vaccine development.

The vaccine under development artificially synthesizes RNA containing the genetic information of the new coronavirus and sends it to the human body to make immunity, unlike the vaccine that uses the virus itself as a material. It is said that it can be manufactured in a short period of time.

Furthermore, at Nagasaki University, we are developing technology to efficiently deliver this vaccine to the mucous membranes of the lungs by injecting it into the mucous membranes of the lungs instead of injecting it, and aiming for a safer vaccine with fewer side effects. ..

The development team plans to carry out an experiment to confirm the vaccine performance using mice within the year.

Professor Hitoshi Sasaki of the Graduate School of Nagasaki University said, "If a vaccine using RNA is completed, it will be possible to manufacture it very quickly. In addition, if it is an inhalation type, it will be used in developing countries where the medical system is not established. It will be an easy-to-use vaccine, and we would like to promote the development so that Nagasaki University can contribute to the measures against the new coronavirus in the world."

Global vaccine development status

According to WHO = World Health Organization, as of the 29th of this month, a new coronavirus vaccine has a total of nearly 150 development plans in the world. Of these, 17 vaccines have been actually given to humans. Clinical trials have begun to confirm safety and efficacy, and one is in the final third stage, which is confirmed by many people.

The most advanced is the vaccine being developed by Oxford University and the UK-based pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca.

This vaccine uses genetic technology to produce a large amount of a part of the new coronavirus, which has already completed the second stage of clinical trials, and has so far vaccinated about 1,000 people between the ages of 18 and 55. I am.

This vaccine has entered the final third stage of administration to many people this month, such as in Brazil, where there are many patients.

In addition, Chinese state media reported that the three vaccines have completed the second stage in China, and are expected to enter the final third stage in the future.

In addition, the US pharmaceutical company “Modernah” will proceed to the final stage of a vaccine using artificially synthesized genes, which is being developed with NIH = National Institute of Health next month, and will administer it to 30,000 people. Have announced plans to confirm safety and effectiveness.

In Japan, we have started discussions with AstraZeneca about the supply of vaccines, but it will take some time before the vaccines are provided to the world, and there is a concern that it will be a battle for each country.

For this reason, the WHO calls on Member States to provide funding in order to evenly distribute to developing countries.

What is a genetic vaccine?

Vaccines promote an immune function that creates a protein called an antibody that eliminates the virus by inserting part of the virus into the body, and inoculating it in advance will prevent infection and aggravation.

So far, viruses with weakened or eliminated virulence and part of them have been used, but it is necessary to culture with chicken eggs and animal cells, and whether it can be actually cultured, antibodies are It has been considered that it takes a few years to 10 years before a vaccine can be put to practical use, because it takes time to find out if it has the ability to encourage it.

While the spread of new coronavirus infections will not stop all over the world, it is expected that these problems will be resolved, a new type of vaccine, ``gene vaccine,'' that can be developed at a faster speed. is.

A gene vaccine artificially creates and inoculates a part of the virus's gene to produce a protein called an "antigen" that encourages the body to make antibodies.

It is believed that when an antigen is formed, the immune system reacts and antibodies that work to eliminate viruses etc. are produced, preventing infection and aggravation.

If it is not necessary to use the virus itself and if the gene information is known, it is possible to artificially synthesize a part of the gene of the virus and make it, so that it is possible to develop faster than conventional methods, Most of the new coronavirus vaccines that are being developed are this type of vaccine.

However, no gene vaccine has been put to practical use so far, and it is effective to eliminate the virus when the gene is integrated into the human gene and unexpected effects do not occur. There is also the issue of not knowing whether or not antibodies can be produced, and confirmation work is in progress worldwide.

SARS has not been put to practical use

Vaccine research and development was promoted by SARS, which is an infectious disease caused by a type of coronavirus that is the same as the new coronavirus, which spread in 2003, mainly in China and other parts of Asia, but was not commercialized. ..

SARS was declared dead by WHO eight months after the first patient was confirmed and did not spread thereafter.

Because of this, vaccine development was not in time when the infection was widespread.

Research and development was conducted mainly in Nagasaki University and Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science in Japan, and a certain effect was confirmed in animal experiments, but it took about one year to create a vaccine for animal experiments, and actually We have not reached the clinical trials to inoculate humans and confirm the safety and efficacy.