FluGen, UW-Madison researchers developing COVID-19 vaccine

UW-Madison researchers and the vaccine companies FluGen and Bharat Biotech are developing and testing a vaccine against COVID-19 called CoroFlu, they announced Thursday.

CoroFlu will build on FluGen’s flu vaccine candidate known as M2SR. That vaccine, based on research by UW-Madison virologists and FluGen co-founders Yoshihiro Kawaoka and Gabriele Neumann, is a self-limiting version of the influenza virus that can induce an immune response against the flu.

Kawaoka’s lab plans to insert gene sequences from SARS-CoV-2, the official name of the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19, into M2SR so that the new vaccine will also induce immunity against the coronavirus, according to a UW-Madison statement.

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