Wits joins forces with Biovac to bolster SA's vaccine production capabilities

The collaboration will see viral vectored vaccines being produced in South Africa.

Image: © Iurii Golub/123rf.com

CAPE TOWN - Wits University has joined forces with pharmaceutical company Biovac to bolster the country's vaccine production capabilities.

The collaboration will see viral vectored vaccines being produced in South Africa.

These are different from most conventional vaccines in that they use the body's cells to produce antigens.

Professor Patrick Arbuthnot is the director of the antiviral gene therapy research unit at Wits.

“The virus is engineered in such a way that it becomes sterile.

"It can’t reproduce itself but at the same time, it’s engineered to carry a sequence and in the case of a COVID vaccine, it will be the spike protein encoding that is incorporated into this viral vector.”

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