The agreement covers the good manufacturing practice (GMP) production of plasmid DNA needed to generate the inoculation against SARS-CoV-2.
GMP production represents a “crucial development” in that it ensures the DNA vaccine can be produced at scale and to therapeutic-grade standards. Cobra has a “long-established plasmid production platform along with in-house expertise [that] will ensure the highest quality”, Scancell said.
The preparations are part of the lead up to the COVIDITY clinical study that forms the centrepiece of work being carried out by Scancell, the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University, funded by Innovate UK.
"Our collaboration with Cobra is critical to us moving forward with our novel SARS-CoV-2 vaccine into the planned phase I clinical trial, COVIDITY,” said Scancell's chief executive, Dr Cliff Holloway.
“Cobra has the expertise needed to produce clinical-grade plasmid at scale and we look forward to working with them to advance our vaccine and demonstrate its potential effectiveness and protection against COVID-19."
Scancell's DNA vaccine will target the SARS-CoV-2 to generate both an immune response and neutralising antibodies against the virus.
The jab has the potential to provide long-lasting immunity against COVID-19 by generating protection not only against this strain, but also against new strains of coronavirus that may arise in the future.