Rokote Laboratories Finland Ltd updates its vaccine to be more effective against new virus variants too
Rokote Laboratories Finland Ltd has decided to update its intranasal vaccine because the SARS-CoV-2 BA.4 and BA.5 virus variants have become more common. Therefore, the launch of the clinical trials will be moved to 2023.
SARS-CoV-2 appears to be here to stay and able to evolve into new virus variants. Neither any of the currently available vaccines nor a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection gives sufficient protection against infection by the new variants. A preclinical evaluation of the current version of the vaccine developed by Rokote Laboratories Finland Ltd demonstrates comprehensive protection against the most common virus variants as well as the first Omicron BA.1 variant. However, the ability of the latest BA.4 and BA.5 variants to evade the immune response induced by BA.1 has created a new challenge for vaccine development, and Rokote Laboratories Finland Ltd considers it important to respond to this challenge with an updated vaccine.
“We believe that the vaccines based on the Omicron BA.1 variant that are being currently developed will already be outdated in terms of the epidemiological situation when they enter the market. Even though the postponement of our clinical trials is regrettable, we believe it is necessary that the variant coverage of our vaccine is as up to date as possible when it enters the market,” say the founders of Rokote Laboratories Finland Ltd, Professors Kalle Saksela and Seppo Ylä-Herttuala.
“The original goal of the company was to develop a new generation vaccine, the likes of which is not available on the market yet. Since we have learned during the COVID-19 pandemic that the virus has a substantial ability to transform and to retain its virulence, despite all the measures societies have taken so far, it has become another key goal for us to ensure the efficacy of the vaccine far into the future,” says CEO Tuija Keinonen.
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