Filipino Priest-Scientist Developing Yeast-Based COVID-19 Vaccine
YEAST-BASED COVID-19 VACCINE – A Filipino priest who has been working as a scientist for 25 years is developing a unique vaccine against COVID-19.
During an interview with ABS-CBN, Fr. Nicanor Austriaco of OCTA Research said he and his team are developing 2 versions of a “yeast-based” vaccine. He said that the first one is for the original COVID-19 variant, and the other is for its more contagious mutations.
Furthermore, he stated that he wanted to return to the Philippines to test the vaccine at University of Santo Tomas in Manila. According to him, they have genetically engineered a yeast to create the SARS-COV-2 spike protein.
Although the vaccine was showing good results, in theory, he stressed that based on his experience, the theory could differ greatly in the real world. As per the interview, he said:
“In theory, it’s very good. But I’ve been a scientist now for 25 years. What looks good in theory is not what always happens in reality…
So, things have been going well so far. We are still in the pre-clinical stages. We will need to test it further. And my hope is we will have some good data, new clinical data by Christmas”
Back in December, the priest already shared his plans of developing an orally administered vaccine against COVID-19. Among the benefits of this was the vaccine’s ability to remain effective despite being kept in normal refrigeration temperatures.
This meant that the vaccine can be easily distributed in different areas. Moreover, the concept of a vaccine such as this would greatly benefit the Philippines being an archipelago.
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