Development of a plant-based vaccine against SARS-CoV2

Plant-based vaccines offer many advantages over conventional vaccines, including increased affordability, ease of scalability, and negligible risk of contamination with human pathogens. In response to the 2019 global pandemic, our lab is re-directing our efforts towards developing a vaccine that is safe and effective against SARS-CoV2. We are exploring the development of an oral vaccine via expression of viral antigen in edible plants such as lettuce and spinach, in a collaboration with the lab of Dr. John Bell at OHRI. We are also working towards the development of an intra-nasal vaccine by expressing viral antigen in Nicotiana benthamiana, a non-edible plant commonly used in Biopharming, in collaboration with the lab of Marc-André Langlois in the Faculty of Medicine. This is a new area of research for us, and we welcome contact with researchers with relevant expertise who are willing to offer advice in helping us achieve these ambitious goals.