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Gritstone Oncology Starts Trial for Second Generation COVID Vaccine

Gritstone Oncology, a Pleasanton-based company, specializes in immunotherapies for cancers and infectious diseases. The company says that its Coral vaccine candidate has potential for both prolonged protection and potency against the coronavirus and its emerging variants. The SF Business Times reported that Gritstone has launched the Phase 1 trial and is also beginning to dose patients with the Coral vaccine.

Along with the support of the National Institute of Allergic and Infectious Diseases, Melinda Gates Foundation, and a grant from the Bill, the trial is being conducted. Founder and CEO of Gritstone Oncology, Andrew Allen, said in a statement that a Phase 2 trial would take place later this year which will look at the potential of Coral as a booster shot for those already vaccinated.

On its website, Gritstone says that the vaccine technology used could have the potential to guard against any further SARS- of coronavirus-caused pandemics, regardless of the mutations that happen. The company believes that the vaccine could prompt “a broad T cell response” in the body. Along with sustainable and significant levels of neutralizing antibodies, it will also bolster immunity.

Daniel Hoft, M.D., Ph. D., Saint Louis University’s Center for Vaccine Development’s director, gave a few comments in the January Press release. Hoft said, “Gritstone Oncology‘s vaccine may provide more comprehensive viral protection by inducing a better combination of T cell responses and neutralizing antibodies as compared to the currently available vaccines. It is important that we move forward with developing these next generation vaccines because we do not yet know whether the existing vaccines that have been granted emergency use authorization will provide long-term immunity or prevent transmission.”

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