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RocketVax secures partners for coronavirus vaccine in Basel

17.06.2021

RocketVax has found cooperation partners for the development of its innovative coronavirus vaccine. The University Hospital of Basel, the University of Basel and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute are providing funding, research infrastructure and staff resources.

The University Hospital of Basel (USB), the University of Basel and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) are entering into a research cooperation with RocketVax. All four are based in Basel. Founded a year ago, the startup is developing a next-generation vaccine against COVID-19. It reportedly induces a long-lasting immune response and works more effectively against mutations. “The Basel region offers the requisite expertise and innovative ideas for further developing the vaccine,” the USB explained in a press release. “The research partners are exploiting this potential to now open a ‘window of opportunity’.”

Through seed funding of 1 million Swiss francs, the USB is enabling the preclinical research work on the vaccine that has already begun to continue. The University of Basel and the Swiss TPH are contributing their research infrastructure and staff resources to the project. The Canton of Basel-Stadt is supporting the research cooperation with a further 1 million francs. According to the USB, Switzerland and other countries stand to benefit from a vaccine made in the Basel region. The first six-month project phase was backed by Innosuisse, through funding of 1.2 million francs.

The RocketVax vaccine uses coronavirus-based vectors. Different to first-generation vaccines that only target the spike protein, it is above all characterized by the fact that it activates multiple lines of immune system defense to combat the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The aim here is to provoke a much broader antibody reaction and to reduce risks connected with viral escape mechanisms. The designed genome lacks one essential virus element needed for replication, meaning it is not infectious.

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