Applied DNA Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: APDN) shares shot up on Monday after the company announced an update to its COVID-19 vaccine program. The firm has been working in conjunction with Takis Biotech in the development of this vaccine.
In the update, the companies announced that the first injections of the DNA vaccine candidates against the Spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, cause of the disease known as COVID-19, have produced neutralizing antibodies in test animals.
The studies were completed at the renowned Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases in Rome. These initial results were obtained using plasmids (the templates for LinearDNA) to baseline results. Applied DNA’s linear DNA dose-response trials begin this week.
The agreement between Takis and Applied DNA calls for the manufacture of the DNA vaccine candidates for both preclinical and human trials.
The LinearDNA vaccine candidates will use the patient as a “temporary bioreactor” to enable the production of Spike antigens in the patient for a period of about two weeks, which management believes is long enough to produce the immune response necessary to block the infection and the spread of the coronavirus.
Dr. James Hayward, CEO of Applied DNA Sciences, commented:
We are proud of the rapid achievements with our Joint Partners in the fight to vanquish COVID-19 through its Spike protein and corresponding gene. The candidate vaccine constructs lend themselves to rapid manufacturing, and the potential for low-dose vaccination could enhance the power of our platform in a global pandemic, by requiring less manufacturing to vaccinate a given population size. Moreover, the simplicity of our joint approach empowers a technical response to viral mutations within days or weeks. We are especially aware of the irony of collaborating from New York and Rome, two locations so badly struck by COVID-19.
Applied DNA stock traded up about 56% to $10.32 on Monday, in a 52-week range of $2.52 to $33.60. The consensus price target is $8.00.