Thursday, April 7, 2022

Trudeau Institute research highlighted in two COVID-19 studies for the federal government

coronavirusTrudeau Institute researchers played a key role in confirming the effectiveness of two approaches to fighting the novel coronavirus, according to a pair of papers published this winter.

Both projects relied on pre-clinical studies carried out at Trudeau on behalf of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), which developed the vaccine and treatment. One, which tested a new COVID-19 vaccine, was published in Cell Reports. The other, which tested a monoclonal antibody treatment aimed at infected individuals, was published in Nature Immunology.

WRAIR is a leading researcher of diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, Ebola and dengue. It relied on Trudeau’s laboratory expertise to verify the effectiveness of the vaccine and treatment before moving to clinical trials.

“We have really extensive experience and knowledge of how to work with pathogens,” said William Reiley, Ph.D., head of research services at Trudeau. “Since the start of the coronavirus epidemic, we’ve been developing models to conduct preclinical, early developmental stage testing of vaccines, therapeutics and monoclonal antibodies.”

Trudeau researchers established that antibodies produced by mice vaccinated with WRAIR’s new COVID-19 vaccine were effective in fighting off the virus.

Unlike other vaccines on the market, WRAIR’s vaccine—known as a nanoparticle vaccine—is optimized in a highly stable design to elicit a potent protective immunity that may be important for high-risk populations and the elderly. The consistently strong immune response arising from the optimized architecture of the vaccine aims to cover mutant variants of concern with a broader spectrum of protective efficacy.

The monoclonal antibody research relied on a similar model. While some monoclonal antibodies on the market have shown success, several variants of the virus evade treatment because of their mutations. This latest research sought antibodies that will target parts of the virus unlikely to mutate. Additionally, Trudeau showed that combining antibodies was even more effective in preventing the spread of infection.

While the monoclonal antibody research did not specifically test against the omicron variant, the paper argues that the study “demonstrates a promising approach to increase prophylactic coverage against SARS-CoV-2 and variants of concern that may arise.”

For Reiley, both projects demonstrate the value Trudeau brings to other organizations. “This is a partnership, and the partnership allows research to get done,” he said. “When we conduct testing for our partners, it allows them do things they don’t have the capacity to do themselves, or it frees them up to do other work.”

Read the papers here:

Low-dose in vivo protection and neutralization across SARS-CoV-2 variants by monoclonal antibody combinations: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41590-021-01068-z
SARS-CoV-2 ferritin nanoparticle vaccines elicit broad SARS coronavirus immunogenicity: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211124721016399

About Trudeau Institute

The Trudeau Institute, headquartered in Saranac Lake, N.Y., safeguards human health by combating 21st-century global health crises, such as the rise of drug-resistant tuberculosis, COVID-19 and emerging pandemic viruses. Its roots can be traced to 1884, when Edward Livingston Trudeau launched the first American laboratory solely dedicated to tuberculosis research. Today, Trudeau scientists spearhead innovation by conducting urgent biomedical research on infectious disease and collaborating with national and international R&D partners to accelerate medical impact.

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3 Responses

  1. Charlie Stehlin says:

    We’re still in a pandemic and it seems to me the vaccinations have brought the numbers down, but I don’t think we’re out of the woods yet. Hardly anybody wears a mask anymore which might come to haunt us in the near future. I hope I’m wrong on this.

    I stopped-in at the Trudeau Institute at least twice during visits through the Saranac region. A very modern structure and they kept the original ‘Little Red’ cottage which I was drawn towards as I like them old structures, remnants of the past. I read Trudeau’s autobiography to find him a very interesting man. The Institute was possible only through his not being bashful about asking others for money so that he could build the Institute. He asked and the money came pouring in, which goes to show…..it don’t hurt to ask!

    • Worth Gretter says:

      I also read Trudeau’s book and was also struck by how willing he was to ask for money. But he was also modest about his own accomplishments and always ready to credit others for their support. You have to wonder if his humility was due to his enormous physical impairments. There was that great quote when one of his guides lifted him into the guideboat and said “Why Doctor, you don’t weigh no more than a dried lambskin!”

  2. Charlie Stehlin says:

    “always ready to credit others for their support. You have to wonder if his humility was due to his enormous physical impairments.”

    I reread what you say above Worth and it struck a chord. Some, or often, times it takes sickness, or a sudden negative turn in our lives, whether it be physical or economical, for people to take a deep, hard look at who they really are, or what is really important in their lives, or how they treat others. You see and hear this over and over in the literature (old and new), and also you might know of someone who “turned a new leaf” due to an event, or conjunction of events, in their lives. It is unfortunate that it takes such for people to come to their senses, or to awaken. Prisons are full of such cases. It makes one wonder if but the proper education had been, or would be, administered from a young age on up; if there was moral and intellectual guidance through education, just maybe there’d be more enlightenment and less misfortune. But where would the money come from for such wild imaginings? I suppose if we’d take but even a fraction of what we spend on bombs to terrorize and kill our fellow earthlings…just maybe there could be a jump on such.

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