India’s new Covid vax candidate can withstand 100 degrees C

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A new heat-tolerant Covid-19 vaccine being developed by the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru and biotech start-up Mynvax has shown strong antibody response against Covid variants including Delta and Omicron, according to a study on mice.

The heat-tolerant Covid-19 vaccine candidate can be stored at 37 degrees Celsius for four weeks and at 100 degrees Celsius for up to 90 minutes.

The vaccine candidate uses a part of the viral spike protein called the receptor-binding domain that allows the virus to connect with the host cell to infect it.

The latest study published recently in the peer-reviewed journal Viruses, assessed vaccinated mice sera for efficacy against key coronavirus variants, including Delta and Omicron.

The study found that mice immunised with different formulations of the vaccine elicit high titres of antibodies that neutralise SARS-CoV-2 variants VIC31 (reference strain), Delta and Omicron variants of coronavirus.

As per the study, there was an average 14.4-fold reduction in neutralisation against the Omicron variant for one formulation of the Mynvax vaccine and a 16.5-fold reduction for another formulation, comparing to VIC31.

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