VBI Vaccines selects two COVID-19 vaccine candidates for human trials

FILE PHOTO: A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a "Vaccine COVID-19" sticker and a medical syringe in this illustration

(Reuters) – VBI Vaccines Inc said on Wednesday it expected to begin human testing of two of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine candidates at the end of the year.

The two candidates, VBI-2901 and VBI-2902, were selected after three pre-clinical mouse studies induced neutralizing antibodies after a single dose, the company said.

The activity was analyzed using a plaque reduction neutralization test, considered the gold standard for measuring antibodies that can neutralize a virus, the company said.

VBI said its manufacturing partner, Therapure Biomanufacturing, will begin making bulk vaccines in September for use through mid-stage trials.

VBI, which was this month awarded C$56 million ($42 million) by the Canadian government to accelerate its COVID-19 vaccine development program, is one of the many companies racing to produce a safe and effective vaccine against the virus.

Many vaccine candidates are already in later stage of development.

Shares of the company rose 3.8% before the bell.

(Reporting by Dania Nadeem in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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