What is IMV’s strategy for the development of the vaccine against COVID-19?
The Company has used sequences of the virus and immunoinformatics to predict and identify several hundred epitopes, of which 23 were selected for their biological relevance to the virus and potential to generate neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.
Peptide epitopes are information molecules that can direct our immune system against targeted areas exposed on the surface of a virus. There are typically thousands of epitopes on viruses, but few have the potential to effectively neutralize and prevent the infection. IMV’s researchers utilized predicted epitopes from the literature and selected peptide epitopes representing the most promising immunological “Achilles heel” of the coronavirus.
IMV has formulated selected peptide epitopes with its DPX platform which has a unique “no release” mechanism of action and allows a specific, robust and sustained immune response. The benefit of this targeted and prolonged delivery is a potential increase in safety and efficacy by exclusively focusing the attack of the immune system onto the spike proteins of the virus.
IMV’s selected vaccine candidate is designed to target non-overlapping neutralizing epitopes with the potential to act synergistically on 3 different key mechanisms of infection of the virus (see the picture above).
DPX-COVID-19 utilizes a multi-target approach, to optimize immune response against virus’ weaknesses, enhance efficacy at preventing infection, and reduce the potential for immune escape, even in case of a virus mutation.