UW-Madison company to manufacture COVID-19 vaccine

Waisman Biomanufacturing staff use a microscope to evaluate cell growth.
Waisman Biomanufacturing staff use a microscope to evaluate cell growth.(Todd Brown, Media Solutions, UW School of Medicine and Public Health)
Published: Aug. 3, 2020 at 10:00 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 3, 2020 at 10:14 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -The race continues to test and find the first effective COVID-19 vaccine, and a cell and gene product development facility at UW-Madison is helping to produce a vaccine.

Waisman Biomanufacturing announced on Monday they are partnering with Heat Biologics to produce a vaccine for phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials.

They anticipate the phase 1 trial could begin in early 2021 and UW-Madison could be a trial site, according to a press release.

“In addition to its potential as a standalone COVID-19 vaccine, we believe this platform holds enormous promise in combination with other vaccines under development and in clinical trials by boosting the patient’s T-cell immunity,” says Jeff Wolf, CEO of Heat Biologics.

The vaccine uses a genetically engineered combination of common protein found in human cells along with viral proteins to create a response from the body’s T-cells, which help with immunity.

The vaccine will target those who are most vulnerable to the virus, including the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

“Waisman Biomanufacturing’s mission is to advance novel vaccines and therapeutics into early human clinical trials,” says Carl Ross, managing director of Waisman Biomanufacturing, part of the Waisman Center. “We are very excited to be able to offer what we have to this cause.”

According to Brian Dattilo, Waisman Biomanufacturing manager of business development, the manufacturer will provide Heat Biologics with development and engineering.

The company will also produce clinical batches of vaccines.

Waisman Biomanufacturing previously partnered with Heat Biologics on two cancer vaccines, one of which is in a phase 2 clinical trial; the other completed enrollment in a phase 2 trial.

Waisman Biomanufacturing was established in 2001. It’s part of the Waisman Center.

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