24 April 2020

UCPH Researchers Agree on Future Production of Vaccine Against COVID-19


Researchers from the University of Copenhagen are working at full throttle to develop a vaccine against the infectious virus SARS-CoV-2. Now, the researchers have entered into an agreement with the company AGC Biologics on a future production of their vaccine.

At the Department of Immunology and Microbiology, the University of Copenhagen, Associate Professor Morten Agertoug Nielsen is working with his colleagues to develop a vaccine against the infectious disease COVID-19.

Now, they have taken their work a step further and signed an agreement with the global company AGC Biologics on a future production of their vaccine.

The agreement was entered under the auspices of the company AdaptVac, of which the researchers are part, and which is also part of the consortium Prevent-nCoV.

“With AGC Biologics’ commitment, our consortium of vaccine experts has now been expanded with a world-leading manufacturing unit adding invaluable expertise and development support. It will also address our future large-scale production needs for our cVLP vaccine candidate to protect against COVID-19 if we enter into late-stage clinical development,” says Morten Agertoug Nielsen.

“This collaboration will ensure that our endeavour can proceed in the fastest possible time-line.”

The collaboration will accelerate the work on the vaccine, and it is the hope that the researchers can begin the first clinical trials in late 2020.

cVLP stands for capsid virus-like particle. It is the vaccine technology which the researchers are working on and have developed themselves. The University of Copenhagen owns the patent for the technology.

“The cVLP forms the backbone of our vaccine technology. On this we can add so-called coronavirus antigens, to which the body's immune system will react strongly, produce antibodies and thus hopefully develop immunity,” says Morten Agertoug Nielsen.

The Prevent-nCoV consortium consists of the companies AdaptVac and ExpreS2ion as well as the Department of Immunology and Microbiology (UCPH), Leiden University Medical Center, Institute for Tropical Medicine (University of Tübingen) and the Laboratory of Virology (Wageningen University).

Together with Associate Professor Adam Sander and Professor Ali Salanti, Morten Agertoug Nielsen has founded the spinout company NextGen Vaccines, which together with the private biotech company ExpreS2ion has established the joint venture company AdaptVac. All three entities collaborate on the development of new types of vaccines – including the vaccine against the novel type of coronavirus.

At the beginning of March, the consortium received a grant from EU's Horizon 2020 research programme of EUR 2.7 million – equivalent to just over DKK 20 million – for their work on the development of a vaccine against COVID-19. The researchers have also recieved funding from the Carlsberg Foundation for their work on the vaccine.


Associate Professor Morten Agertoug, +45 28575489, mortenn@sund.ku.dk

Press Officer Cecilie Krabbe, +45 93565911, cecilie.krabbe@sund.ku.dk

Theme: Coronavirus

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