Verndari, a California-based biopharma company, has started preclinical testing of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate, which will be administered using it microneedle array dermal patch VaxiPatch.
The preclinical testing will be carried out in laboratories at the University of California in Davis (UC Davis).
Verndari, which was established in 2015, is said to have developed the COVID-19 vaccine candidate using single, purified protein antigens created by genetic engineering in a process that has shown to be extremely reliable. The vaccine candidate uses the spike protein of the novel coronavirus that enables the virus to cause infection in human cells.
Daniel R. Henderson – CEO and chief scientific officer of Verndari said: “Verndari, Inc. was founded to enable a rapid response to new viral threats as well as to produce more effective vaccinations for existing viruses, such as seasonal flu, while sharply reducing costs and making vaccine administration much simpler.
“Our new approach and previous vaccine work have enabled us to quickly develop a potential vaccine for COVID-19. UC Davis provides a world-class forum for testing with leading researchers and a full spectrum of supporting capabilities.”
Verndari said that it has also been discussing with the California National Primate Research Center at the University of California in Davis to carry out further testing of its coronavirus vaccine candidate in nonhuman primates. If the preclinical testing achieves safety and efficacy goals, phase 1 human clinical trials will be launched, said the biopharma company.
Verndari expects that the testing from inception through phase 1 human clinical trials will take nearly six months. The biopharma company sai that it is in consultation with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on its investigational New Drug (IND) submission for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
Prasant Mohapatra – vice chancellor for research at UC Davis said: “We are excited to work with Verndari, Inc. to move its vaccine candidate through preclinical, and potentially clinical, studies.
“This collaboration illustrates one of many ways that UC Davis is leveraging our unique expertise and established platform built on previous research for HIV, Zika and human cytomegalovirus in order to advance knowledge and solutions specific to COVID-19.”