AMBLER, PA — A vaccine candidate could yet from Montgomery County, and from the unlikeliest of places.
An Ambler-based company known for its work on animal vaccines and therapies is joining the race to find a coronavirus vaccine.
MBF Therapeutics is the second company in Montgomery County, after the Plymouth Meeting biopharmaceutical company Inovio, to publicize their intentions on COVID-19 vaccine research.
“Our goal is a better long-term solution to the current global pandemic," Thomas Tillett, the CEO of MBF, said in a statement. "And that’s a next-generation vaccine that effectively prevents the spread of SARSCoV-2."
And their work is drawing the kind of attention which a vaccine needs to succeed. The company recently raised $604,000 from a private stock sale as its research expands, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal.
The company, based on 604 Woodbrook Drive, reportedly aims to have to study data on in vitro tests of the vaccine ready by the end of September.
Their vaccine, called COVE-001, is a DNA-based vaccine which MBF hopes serves as a way for the company to translate their specific expertise, immunotherapy for animal health, into humans.
The company is also working on the necessary delivery system for the vaccine, something they call CaptaVax, which would need to be mass produced in order to distribute the vaccine.
Part of the goal of the vaccine is to make it a "universal" defense against similar viruses, so that it could potentially work against future mutations of COVID-19.
Nearby in Plymouth Meeting, Inovio has advanced into Phases 2 and 3 of human trials on its own DNA vaccine.
The two Montgomery County vaccine candidates are among hundreds in development worldwide. According to the New York Times coronavirus vaccine tracker, there are 15 vaccines in Phase 2, and nine currently in Phase 3, as of Tuesday afternoon.
Back in July, MBF announced a partnership with four other firms to help develop their vaccine: SSI Strategy, MRIGlobal, Rymedi, and Aldevron.
Montgomery County officials are readying local infrastructure to prepare for a vaccine's distribution, but caution that they feel a vaccine is "likely a year away" until its widely publicly available.