Promising results for University of Saskatchewan COVID-19 vaccine
Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan’s renowned Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac) have announced a "major milestone" in the race to find a vaccine for COVID-19. Researchers inoculated ferrets with two immunizations prior to exposing them to the COVID-19 coronavirus, and found that the vaccine was "highly effective" in inducing a strong immune response. The inoculated ferret immune system generated neutralizing antibodies which decreased COVID-19 viral infection in the upper respiratory tract to "almost undetectable levels".
Ferrets are one of the most commonly used animal models for COVID-19, and VIDO-InterVac Director Dr. Volker Gerdts explained that “proving that the vaccine is effective in ferrets is a key milestone in the development pathway.” This marks another breakthrough in the global fight against COVID-19 for VIDO-InterVac, which was the first lab in Canada to isolate SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Additional safety trials are expected over the next few months to prepare for human clinical trials this fall.