The European medicines watchdog said Thursday it was reviewing German-based pharmaceutical SK Chemicals’ coronavirus vaccine which uses nanotechnology to combat the virus, amid concern of a possible comeback later in the year.
If eventually approved, the vaccine called Skycovion will be the seventh jab to join the European Union’s growing toolkit, although other vaccines are also currently being reviewed.
The Amsterdam-based EMA’s human medicines committee “has started a review of a conditional marketing authorisation application for Skycovion, a vaccine for protecting against COVID-19,” it said.
SK Chemicals GmbH “has submitted data on how well the vaccine triggers the production of antibodies against the original strain of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19,” the EMA added in a statement.
The vaccine works with nanoparticles that contains parts of the spike protein found on the coronavirus’ surface.
“When a person is given the vaccine, their immune system is expected to identify the nanoparticles containing parts of the spike protein as foreign and produce natural defences—antibodies and T cells—against them,” the EMA said.
Later, if the person is in contact with the virus, the immune system will recognise the spike protein on the virus and attack it.
The vaccine also contains an “adjuvant”, a substance to help strengthen the immune response to the vaccine, the EMA said.
Currently, the EU has approved vaccines by AstraZeneca, Janssen, BioNTech-Pfizer, Moderna, Novavax and Valneva, although the latter has suspended production.
Milder, but more infectious than earlier types of the COVID virus, the BA.4 and BA.5 types, have helped to drive a wave of new cases of the disease in Europe and the United States, the number of cases is dropping off.
European nations are now starting to look ahead to the autumn and winter season, when cases are expected to peak once more.