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(NEW YORK POST) – A Texas-based genetic engineering company has finished developing a coronavirus vaccine, according to new reports.
Scientists at Greffex Inc. — which has a corporate headquarters in Houston and a laboratory in Aurora, Colorado — completed the vaccine this week, company president and CEO John Price told the Houston Business Journal.
Now the vaccine will move to animal testing by the necessary government agencies — the FDA in the US and similar regulatory bodies in China and other heavily affected countries, according to the report.
For safety reasons, Greffex did not use a living or killed virus to form the vaccine, according to Price. Instead, adenovirus-based vector vaccines, which are widely employed against various infectious diseases or cancers, were used, the report noted.
“The trick in making a vaccine is can you scale the vaccine that you’ve made to be able to make a certain number of doses, can you test that vaccine quickly and efficiently and then can you get it into patients,” Price told local outlet KHOU 11. “And that’s where we have an edge as well on the other companies that are out there.”
The vaccine is the product of an $18.9 million contract Greffex received in September 2019 from the National Institute of Health’s National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, aimed at fighting infectious threats, the Business Journal reported.
If the vaccine wins government approval, Greffex will give it away for free to the hardest-hit countries, Price said.
More than 2,100 people have died as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, with all but 11 of those deaths in mainland China. Worldwide, more than 75,700 people have been infected.