Talking about a new company with a COVID-19 vaccine at this point in the vaccination process might seem fruitless, but hear us out. Koranex Capital, the parent company of the Canadian vaccine developer Glycovax, filed a patent in September 2020 that was published in March 2021 for a COVID-19 vaccine based on neoglycoconjugates. While most of the vaccines being developed currently are based on the Spike (S) protein of the Sars-Cov-2 virus , Glycovax mentions in their application that it targets glycans on the surface of the virus instead. Glycovax’s approach is likely being used not because targeting the glycans is a better strategy, but because diversifying approaches to vaccines is useful in the event that the viruses mutate.
Based on their published application, here are two reasons you should keep Glycovax in mind. First, if the Sars-Cov-2 virus mutates in the future, especially if the mutations substantially alter the S protein, which is a constant point of concern, then the immunity provided by current vaccines may not be enough. However, if the mutations primarily affect the S protein, there is a good chance that whatever vaccine Glycovax produces would still function even where others fail. Any signs that a concerning strain is spreading could be good, if still unfortunate, news for Glycovax.
Second, even if Glycovax doesn’t become a leader in the fight against COVID-19, its neoglycoconjugate vaccines still may have several advantages. For example, Glycovax’s website states “the preparation of this type of vaccine is safe because staff handle synthetic glycan molecules that are not dangerous, unlike the traditional protocol that uses viruses grown in fermenters.” Furthermore, glycocongugate vaccines typically see more widespread use for vaccinating infants or the elderly, as they tend to be among the safest developed vaccines. It’s worth keeping an eye out for Glycovax in the future because while they are late this time, they might be early next time.
For more updates on the future of vaccine development, check out our free Patent Forecast® for Pandemics.