The 2019 Mustafa(pbuh) Prize laureate, immunologist Ugur Sahin, talked about an mRNA-based vaccine that he and his research team have developed which was recently tested on human beings.
"We are facing a pandemic the only solution to which is a vaccine. This pandemic will challenge us for the next two years "
Explaining the concept of mRNA vaccines, he said that "they deliver mRNA-encoded genetic information of the vaccine antigen to the cells in the body of the subject. It is particularly used in pandemics."
"mRNA vaccines can be designed and manufactured fast within weeks; they have intrinsic immune-stimulatory properties and do not require addition of adjuvants; they are highly immunogenic and induce neutralizing antibodies as well as T-cell responses. They are also well-characterized biopharmaceuticals with a high purity and are free of animal material," he added.
According to Sahin, the clinical trial protocol in Germany started April 23rd, 2020, with a target population of 200 healthy subjects aged 18 to 55. The objective of this was safety, tolerability, immunogenicity, in addition to determining the optimal dose for further studies."
He also announced that the first results of this study are expected by end of June/early July.
"We have started to increase our manufacturing. I'm confident this can be accomplished in the next three months and be distributed in large dose. Depending on the dose of the vaccine, we can serve larger populations of people," Sahin remarked.
He said: “we are trying to find a solution to allow free access of this vaccine to all with the cooperation of WHO.”