On Thursday, Canada approved the use of the world’s first plant-derived Covifenz Covid-19 vaccine. The vaccine is jointly developed by GlaxoSmithKline Plc. and Medicago Inc.
A two-dose regimen of 3.75 micrograms per dose is authorized by Medicago Covifenz which is to be administered 21 days apart. The trial for this was found to be 71% effective against the infection within the Symptomatic patients and 100% effective against the severe disease caused by the coronavirus.
Covifenz uses Glaxo’s adjuvant that consists of DL-alpha-tocopherol, polyphosphate 80, squalene, phosphate-buffered saline. Living plants are used as bioreactors to produce a particle that mimics the target virus. Through a process of synthesis, incubation, infiltration, purification, and harvest, the virus-like particles are VLPs are developed.
According to Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, the vaccine is cleared for the age group between 18 to 64 for safety and effectiveness.
Covifenz was shown to be effective against Delta and Gamma variants, as well as Alpha, Lambda, and Mu variants.
COVID-19 plant-based protein technology vaccine’s approval can help overcome the vaccine hesitancy in many countries which are struggling to raise vaccination rates after a certain threshold.