Subject Covid-19 and its variants to an attack by very well informed drones. This is the promise of the vaccine developed by the French biotech LinKinVax, which announced on Tuesday that it would produce its clinical batches in Toulouse. This vaccine responds to the call of the World Health Organization (WHO) encouraging the development of long-term solutions, less sensitive to mutations, allowing the acquisition of lasting and planetary immunity. It will be classic, “storable in a refrigerator” and even in freeze-dried form.

LinKinVax uses a proven technique, which it is already testing in the clinical phase on humans as part of an HIV vaccine. “It consists of attaching a human monoclonal antibody to dendritic cells which are a bit like the drones of our immune system”, explains André-Jacques Auberton-Hervé, president and co-founder of biotech. The goal “is to bring the information on the Achilles heels of the virus directly to our immune system and to chew up the work of the detection system”.

A large and less unstable target

In the game of cat and mouse between the virus and the researchers, LinKinVax chooses not only to target the unstable and famous protein Spike by which the virus enters the cell, but also tables, thanks to bioinformatics , “on other regions common to all coronaviruses and which have the benefit of mutating very little”. Hence the hope for a “universal, pan-coronavirus” vaccine.

André-Jacques Auberton-Hervé claims to be a “technical leader in terms of technological advance and maturity”. In these times of essential “health sovereignty”, he is also delighted to have found a manufacturer in Toulouse capable of producing the batches on a large scale. The company GTP Bioways in this case, specialized in pharmaceutical developments. “It is extremely galvanizing and motivating to participate in a possible response to a pandemic with a bold and high-level scientific approach”, enthuses Alain Sainsot, the president of the Toulouse company. The two partners hope to “offer solutions” approved by the health authorities “from 2023”.