Posted by Andreas Runggatscher
COVID-19 Vaccine
The fourth meeting of the 2020-21 year of the Rotary Club of New York took place on Zoom on Aug 13, 2020. The speaker was Erwin Blomsma, CEO of a Biotech startup named Vironet which focuses on the development of disruptive novel vaccine technologies for the control of infectious diseases in livestock and is now collaborating with KU Leuven to prove out a COVID-19 vaccine.
        full report inside.

Report of the Week – Meeting of August 13th

by Andreas Runggatscher

 
The fourth meeting of the 2020-21 year of the Rotary Club of New York took place on Zoom on Aug 13, 2020. The speaker was Erwin Blomsma, CEO of a Biotech startup named Vironet which focuses on the development of disruptive novel vaccine technologies for the control of infectious diseases in livestock and is now collaborating with KU Leuven to prove out a COVID-19 vaccine. While Erwin emphasized the need to develop a COVID-19 vaccine over the long term, he highlighted the Gates Foundation’ sponsored anti-viral campaign to identify deterrents for the Coronavirus.

Erwin highlighted the importance of developing a vaccine that would ideally only require one shot for efficacy with Vironet in partnership with KU Leuven in Belgium. While a booster shot has traditionally been an option to reach immunity, Erwin pointed out that anti-virals could be injected into a patient and to prevent further spread of the virus. Early tests with animals indicate the vaccine being developed by Vironet could prove effective with a single dose.

To produce the vaccine effectively at different temperatures, Erwin went into depth about a machine that could be used across the world to produce the vaccine. While anti-virals are administrated in the livestock market where $2 Billion USD is lost per year due to upper respiratory diseases, Erwin emphasized the importance of leveraging anti-virals for controlling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amid additional need for a speedy response for COVID-19, Erwin has worked with the Gates Foundation to identify anti-virals that could be made available while the COVID-19 vaccine goes through the development process in Europe and the United States. Next steps on the vaccine include the recruitment of clinic trials to ensure that the successes of the tests on animals may translate to the human population.





 
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