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Turkey’s innovative vaccine against COVID-19 nears human trials

A group of scientists from Boğaziçi University is hoping to begin human trials of a unique vaccine model soon that will be used against the coronavirus. Professor Nesrin Özören, who heads the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at a university in Istanbul, acquired the patent for the technology based on microparticles. It helps vaccines last 30 days at room temperature, an advantage over other vaccines that require a cold chain for transportation.

Özören’s team completed animal trials and will switch to human trials early this summer. “We are now working on the method of inoculation. We want to make it something that can be taken orally or nasally unlike other vaccines,” she told Demirören News Agency (DHA) Thursday.

The project actually dates back about a decade but will be tested first with the COVID-19 vaccine. Turkish scientists at the university have been working on a locally made vaccine since last year. Theirs are among a number of coronavirus vaccine development projects underway all across the country. The technology helps to inject microparticles carrying cell surface proteins to the body and trigger the immunity system. Özören said the method can be used for other diseases and health conditions. “We want to develop an oral vaccine for polio,” she said.

On the vaccine they developed, she said it can be modified easily for protection against emerging variants of coronavirus. “We are using recombinant DNA technology, and this allows us to change the vaccine to respond to any new variant,” she said.

Reference