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April 2, 2020

University Of Pittsburgh Scientists Create Potential Coronavirus Vaccine

By Logan Ratick

Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine announced Thursday that they have developed a potential vaccine against COVID-19.

The vaccine, which is transmitted through a small skin patch, will allow the user to build immunity to the novel coronavirus that is causing a global pandemic.

“We knew exactly where to fight this new virus,” said Dr. Andrea Gambotto, associate professor of surgery at the Pitt School of Medicine and co-senior author of the breakthrough research. “That’s why it’s important to fund vaccine research. You never know where the next pandemic will come from.”

The Pittsburgh Coronavirus Vaccine is called PittCoVacc. It showed positive results when tested on mice and is awaiting approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

According to Pitt scientists, the vaccine will enter human testing phases in the coming months.

“Testing in patients would typically require at least a year and probably longer,” said co-senior author Louis Falo, M.D., Ph.D., who serves as professor and chair of dermatology at Pitt’s School of Medicine and UPMC. “This particular situation is different from anything we’ve ever seen, so we don’t know how long the clinical development process will take. Recently announced revisions to the normal processes suggest we may be able to advance this faster.”

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