Chimeron Bio, an RNA therapeutics company, and George Mason University's National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases (NCBID), a leading institute conducting pioneering research on infectious diseases including diagnostic, therapeutics and vaccine development, announced their partnership to develop a Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.
The vaccine development will be based on Chimeron Bio's ChaESARTM self-amplifying RNA technology and will integrate Mason's complimenting expertise and Biomedical Research Laboratory (BRL), a National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/National Institutes of Health (NIAID/NIH) supported, state-of-the-art Regional Biocontainment Laboratory for the rapid screening of the company's vaccine pipeline.
Our collaborators at Chimeron Bio have a strong commitment to pursuing innovative, personalized treatments which aligns well with our research philosophy - exploring innovative approaches to solve big global problems. At Mason, we know that partnerships like this are critical to making time-sensitive, important biomedical discoveries"
Dr. Aarthi Narayanan, Associate Professor, Systems Biology, George Mason University's College of Science
ChaESARTM, a self-amplifying RNA delivery technology, can deliver highly immunogenic viral genes to elicit rapid and sustained immune response. ChaESAR's ability to amplify the production of viral antigens inside the body is expected to generate a vaccine response at much lower doses compared to traditional mRNA approaches.
Moreover, the ChaESARTM particle is a self-assembling delivery system which bypasses the need for expensive in-vitro RNA synthesis. Due to its superior science and manufacturing advantage, a single batch of a low-dose ChaESARTM formulation could vaccinate many more people worldwide, thereby offering a rapid, effective, and affordable solution.
"We strongly believe our self-amplifying mRNA technology is the perfect solution for the generation of COVID-19 vaccines for use both in select markets and populations around the world," said. Dr. Afshin Safavi, Chimeron Bio Chairman of the Board.
"The Biocontainment Laboratory and Mason's exceptional scientists are unique and valuable assets," shared Dr. Charles Bailey, NCBID Executive Director. "We welcome this opportunity to share our resources by teaming with Chimeron Bio on this innovative approach to develop a vaccine for COVID-19."
"ChaESAR's ability to deliver both viral peptides and viral RNA makes it a robust anti-viral approach," explained Dr. Thimmaiah Chendrimada, Chief Scientific Officer at Chimeron Bio. "We anticipate the learnings from this partnership will inform additional designs as we develop effective treatment and vaccines for COVID-19 and beyond," Chendrimada said.
COVID-19 belongs to a family of coronaviruses which can cause serious respiratory diseases. Through this partnership, the company will also test RNA therapeutics and peptide vaccines targeting other coronaviruses in addition to COVID-19.
"This collaboration will test multiple ChaESARTM vaccines enabling rapid selection of the best candidate for further development, said Dr. Jolly Mazumdar, CEO at Chimeron Bio. "I am incredibly proud of our combined expertise as we work to address COVID-19 and validate ChaESAR's potential as a globally accessible vaccine platform," Mazumdar added.