Last week, we published a story about a team of German researchers who claimed to have identified an existing drug with potential to treat coronavirus Covid-19. Now, U.S. scientists from Greffex, a Houston, Texas-based genetic engineering company said it has completed a vaccine targeting the current outbreak of the coronavirus that the World Health Organization calls COVID-19. The company said it intends to give away its vaccine for free to nations affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, John Price, president and CEO, said.
Price told the Houston Business Journal that Greffex’s scientists completed the coronavirus vaccine this week. The company said the vaccine will now move to animal testing by the necessary government agencies — in the U.S., that’s the Food and Drug Administration. Countries impacted by the outbreak, like China and Vietnam, have their own agencies with their own clinical testing regulations.
To ensure safety, Greffex did not use a living or killed virus for its vaccine, Price said. Greffex’s treatments use adenovirus-based vector vaccines, which are used to target various kinds of infectious diseases and cancers, according to research published in the peer reviewed journal Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics. In September 2019, Greffex received an $18.9 million contract from the National Institute of Health’s National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases to develop new treatments for infectious threats, according to a press release.
Greffex intends to give away its vaccine for free to nations affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, Price said. He’s traveling to Vietnam Feb. 20. “There are certain things which should not be sold. We have a health crisis in Asia,” Price said. “For certain governments, we will give them the vaccine and not charge them for it.”
Greffex has previously developed vaccines for notable infectious diseases including Avian Influenza (bird flu), Ebola, Zika and MERS, Price said. Greffex’s current coronavirus vaccine is similar to its vaccine for MERS, or Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus.
The firm’s technology allows Greffex to develop new vaccines quickly — usually in about a month, Price said. Following months of animal studies and abbreviated human clinical trials, Price said he could see the coronavirus vaccines being deployed into impacted nations as soon as early summer.