IISc Scientists Unveil Revolutionary Covid-19 Vaccine Candidate - RS2

  • 15 Jan 2024

A team of scientists from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) recently developed RS2, a promising Covid-19 vaccine candidate with revolutionary features.

Key Points

  • Heat-Tolerant and Effective: RS2 is a heat-tolerant synthetic antigen effective against all current SARS-CoV-2 strains, showcasing potential adaptability for future variants.
  • Unique Antigen Composition: RS2 combines the S2 subunit and the Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) of the virus's spike protein. The S2 subunit offers stability with fewer mutations, while the RBD elicits a robust immune response.
  • Mammalian Cell Line Production: The hybrid protein is produced using mammalian cell lines, demonstrating unexpectedly high expression levels, indicating the feasibility of large-scale manufacturing.
  • Superior Immune Response: Animal model testing reveals that RS2 triggers a potent immune response and provides superior protection compared to vaccines containing the entire spike protein.
  • Room Temperature Storage: A notable feature is the ability of the RS2 antigen to be stored at room temperature for up to a month without refrigeration, addressing logistical challenges in vaccine distribution.
  • Cost-Effective Production: The IISc team's expertise in viral vaccine design, honed through research on AIDS and influenza vaccines, contributes to the cost-effective production of the RS2-based Covid-19 vaccine candidate.
  • Collaboration with Mynvax: The collaboration with Mynvax, a startup formerly incubated at IISc, plays a pivotal role in the development of the RS2 vaccine candidate.
  • Global Significance: RS2's adaptability to emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, coupled with cost-effective production and room temperature storage, positions it as a crucial tool in the global fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.