"RBD Dimer recombinant protein vaccine against SARSCoV2" (RBDCOV) is a new Horizon Europe project led by the biotech pharmaceutical company HIPRA. Launched on 1st December, RBDCOV project objective is to test the efficacy, tolerability, and safety of the HIPRA's recombinant Covid-19 vaccine in children (including adolescents) and immunocompromised people. The trials will last 2.5 years.
To carry out this project, HIPRA will work with an international consortium including companies and institutions from five European countries: Spain (IRSICAIXA, FUNDACIÓ HOSPITAL UNIVERSITARI VALL D'HEBRON, FUNDACIÓN FILS DE LUCHA CONTRA EL SIDA (FLS), IDIBAPS, IDIBGI, ASPHALION, VINCES CONSULTING, ZABALA INNOVATION), United Kingdom (VERISTAT INTERNATIONAL), Italy (FONDAZIONE PENTA), Germany (EUROPEAN AIDS TREATMENT GROUP), and Turkey (METPHARM ARASTIRMA GELISTIRME SAGLIK DANISMANLIK). The project will manage a budget of EUR 9.779.211,25 euros.
Prolonging the protection of immunocompromised persons
The RBDCOV project foresees two clinical trials, one in a group of immunocompromised individuals and the second study in one or more groups of children and adolescents. The RBDCOV project will contribute to the development of the HIPRA vaccine which aims to protect against severe COVID infection including in immunocompromised individuals and to ensure a long-term immune response.
The Project also envisages that the vaccine will be made accessible for vaccination campaigns worldwide thanks to its 2-8º C storage temperature, which facilitates a longer lasting shelf-life, transport, and distribution.
The COVID-19 vaccine being developed by HIPRA is a recombinant adjuvanted protein vaccine based on a Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) fusion heterodimer containing the B.1.1.7 (alpha) and B.1.351 (beta) variants of SARS-CoV-2.
RBDCOV and the impulse for innovation against COVID-19 in Europe
The Horizon Europe Framework Programme is Europe's largest research and innovation programme (2021-2027), and one of its priorities is to support urgent research on coronavirus and its variants. The European Commission has selected eleven projects involving 312 research teams from 40 countries. RBDCOV is one of the selected projects that will support clinical trials for a new vaccine that can reach beyond Europe's borders by creating links with other European initiatives.
Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation and Research, announced last year the approval of the RBDCOV project along with other 10 initiatives, stressing that investment in innovation is key to tackling the coronavirus crisis and strengthening current research infrastructures for the pandemic and future emergencies.