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Team of universities announces bio-based COVID vaccine

MATSUE, Japan >> The Faculty of Medicine at Shimane University has developed a new COVID- 19 vaccine using bio-based materials. Shimane joined Asahi Kasei Corp. and other universities in the research project.

The school said it aims to release the vaccine in 2025 at the earliest. It applied for a patent on the vaccine last month.

It said the possibility of side effects from the vaccine is extremely low, and it is expected to be safe for children.

The vaccine was developed by professor Takeshi Urano of the Shimane University Faculty of Medicine and a group of researchers from Asahi Kasei, Kyoto University, Mie University and Nagasaki University.

According to Shimane University, the vaccine utilizes hyaluronic acid nanogel, a pharmaceutical additive made from a material that also exists in living systems. The additive is mixed with a portion of the spike protein on the surface of the virus and administered to the body to create immunity against the virus.

The university said the new vaccine is highly effective in sending antigens to immune cells and could be effective even in powder form. It’s also possible that it could be transported without keeping it at a low temperature.

It said the vaccine can be used against other infectious diseases as well.

“We’ll utilize our research not only for the coronavirus, but also for emerging infectious diseases,” Urano said.

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