The Lallemand group, in partnership with Biotechnologies Ulysse and Bio-K Plus, all Canadian companies, are joining forces to develop a vaccine against the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a news report by journalist Frédéric Arnould broadcasted on Canadian national television last week, Yves Hurtubise president and researcher at Ulysse Biotech, also a doctor of biotechnology, applied microbiology, molecular biology and enzymology and specialist in fermentation, said: “We are working to develop a formula with bacteria and yeast that would have the same properties as the virus, but without the contagious load of COVID-19. It would trigger in the body of the person taking the vaccine, orally or by nasal spray, an immune reaction (antibodies development)”.
Lallemand, specialist in yeast and bacteria, would collaborate in this project and is supportive of the strategy presented by Biotechnologies Ulysse. This idea is interesting, creative and feasible technologically speaking, as mass production would be necessary ultimately.
“The probiotics sector has its place in the pursuit of the COVID-19 vaccine,” adds Dr. Mathieu Millette, scientific director at BioK-Plus international. “Using live bacteria as a vaccine vector is an idea that has been around for 20 years and is more and more studied. These kind of vaccines are already in used in animals. In humans, there is no precedent yet, it’s really very innovative”, he adds with confidence.
The new partners will probably have to rely on the expertise of a large pharmaceutical group for driving the clinical trials once the proof of concept is confirmed in animal models.
Unity is key. With the sum of expert skills, there is hope to find a COVID-19 vaccine.
To find out more about this new project, see Frédéric Arnould’s report “La course au vaccin” on Radio-Canada (available in French only): https://ici.radio-canada.ca/tele/le-telejournal-avec-celine-galipeau/site/segments/reportage/167505/covid-19-coronavirus-pandemie-vaccin
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Marilou Luneau, Content manager, Lallemand Health Solutions