A Houston genetic engineering company called Greffex Inc. has created a vaccine to the Coronavirus according to its CEO.
KHOU reported on Thursday that Greffex CEO John Price told the Houston Business Journal that his scientists have just this week completed the vaccine and will now move on to animal testing and approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
According to KHOU, the vaccine was developed without use of the virus itself:
To ensure safety, Greffex did not use a living or killed virus for its vaccine, Price said. Greffex’s treatments use adenovirus-based vector vaccines, which are used to target various kinds of infectious diseases and cancers, according to research published in the peer reviewed journal Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics. In September 2019, Greffex received an $18.9 million contract from the National Institute of Health’s National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases to develop new treatments for infectious threats, according to a news release.
Greffex is not the only company developing a vaccine. KHOU reported that a company called Novavax is also working around the clock to develop a vaccine, with 150 scientists on the job:
At Novavax in Maryland, 150 scientists have been preparing rows of machines to work at a frantic pace. Dr. Nita Patel, the lab’s director of antibody discovery and vaccine development says they have a history of creating vaccines within three months.
According to Reuters, 75,400 cases of the virus have been reported, and 2,236 of those have died. The virus, which originated in China, has now spread to 26 countries outside China, including South Korea and Japan.
Reuters also reported that a woman returning to Israel from a cruise also tested positive for the virus just today. According to the Israeli health ministry, the woman was reportedly in Japan when she came in contact with the virus. The other passengers tested negative for the virus. At this time the patient is in quarantine.