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A Rochester company is reporting very promising results from testing on its oral vaccine formulation for COVID-19.

Vyriad today announced the results published in the journal Vaccine, which show the formulation powerfully boosted the levels of neutralizing antibodies against the COVID-19 virus in previously vaccinated monkeys. Vyriad says the oral medication is built on the vesicular stomatitis virus platform, which "has been shown to be safe and did not cause clinically significant adverse effects."

photo courtesy Vyriad Inc.
photo courtesy Vyriad Inc.
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“By tweaking the way we generate the VSV-SARS vaccine, we created a new oral formulation that worked remarkably well to boost virus neutralizing antibody titers when administered into the cheek pouches of cynomolgus macaques whose immunity was waning after they had been primed with an intramuscular vaccine. Oral dosing is convenient and more likely to be accepted by people who are reluctant to receive yet another intramuscular injection to boost their immunity.” stated Kah-Whye Peng, Ph.D., Chief Technical Officer of Vyriad, and first author of this publication.

Vyriad is a biotechnology company that was founded by Mayo Clinic Dr. Stephen J. Russell to develop and test oncolytic virus therapies to treat cancers.

“We are excited by these groundbreaking findings. Vyriad has cGMP manufacturing capabilities and is running clinical trials using an engineered VSV for cancer therapy. We are therefore actively seeking partnership to help bring this promising platform to human testing,” stated Stephen J Russell, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Vyriad.

photo courtesy Vyriad Inc.
photo courtesy Vyriad Inc.
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A news release says the research publication was a collaboration between Vyriad, Immanis Life Sciences, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, and the University of Minnesota.

Major Milestones From Beginning of COVID-19 Pandemic in Olmsted County, Minnesota

News and information about the virus were slowly making their way through Minnesota and the Rochester area during late February 2020. Mayo Clinic became aware of the virus in January because of a partnership it had with a Chinese firm. This gave Mayo a head start in developing its own test for the virus which it knew would be needed for its patients.

Scroll through the gallery to see the significant milestones from the first two months of the pandemic in Olmsted County, Minnesota.