Canadian vaccine candidates have been registered with the World Health Organization. And while the Pfizer and Moderna jabs have high efficacy rates, experts agree that society will need as many potential cures as possible to quickly and affordably eradicate the virus. Some vaccine candidates may be more effective in certain ages and ethnicities; some may produce even better results when combined with other therapies; and some — like two of the medicines listed below — are even being designed for those with a fear of needles. Here are some of Canada’s most promising vaccine candidates:

  • Medicago, a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Quebec City, is pleased to report interim results of the Phase 1 clinical trial of its plant-derived vaccine for COVID-19.  The results of the trial demonstrated that 100 per cent of subjects developed a promising antibody response after two doses of Medicago’s COVID-19 adjuvanted vaccine candidate. Medicago is a biopharmaceutical company and pioneer in plant-derived therapeutics. Founded in 1999 with the belief that innovative approaches and rigorous research would bring new solutions in healthcare.
  • Providence Therapeutics (Toronto): Similar to that of Pfizer and Moderna, this vaccine uses mRNA tech, which prompts the body to make proteins that can ward off the virus. 
  • Entos Pharmaceuticals (Edmonton): A DNA-based vaccine that delivers genes from SARS-CoV-2 into the body, inducing a strong antibody response, as well as a potent, balanced T cell response.
  • Immunoprecise Antibodies (Victoria): Pieces of viral protein are injected, teaching the immune system to recognize them; this technique is also being used by Novavax. 
  • IMV (Halifax): Another protein-based vaccine using peptides, which are tiny pieces of protein that can be produced artificially.
  • Mediphage Bioceuticals and the University of Waterloo (Toronto/Waterloo): Administered as a nasal spray, this candidate mimics the route of infection of SARS-CoV-2 and targets the right cells in the lungs and lower respiratory tract. 
  • Symvivo (Burnaby): Another DNA solution that doesn’t require a needle, this medicine would be swallowed like the oral polio vaccine.
  • Symvivo is a clinical-stage gene therapy company developing oral DNA vaccines for the treatment of life-threatening infectious diseases. In rapid response to the COVID-19 global health crisis, the company began research and development efforts leveraging its novel bacTRL™ Gene Therapy Program to study the protective potential of oral DNA vaccine candidate, bacTRL-Spike™, for the prevention of COVID-19.

Source: Mars, Impact Week Publication. Barry Chong.