March 14, 2020—As the world deals with COVID-19, now officially deemed a pandemic, many groups are racing against the clock to develop vaccines against the novel coronavirus. The development and manufacturing of effective vaccines is a laborious and challenging task for a variety of reasons. In the pandemic situation that we and our loved ones are facing today, creating, manufacturing, testing, and delivering novel vaccines for a global population of more than 7 billion is truly a daunting challenge. As researchers and global citizens, we offer our heartfelt thanks to healthcare workers, researchers, governments, and biotechnology companies, who are currently taking on this herculean task.

Virica’s mission is enabling viral medicines and this includes supporting vaccine developers to more effectively make their products. Our unique Viral Sensitizer (VSE™) small molecule platform can enhance virus manufacturing yields for a wide variety of virus types, including common vaccine platforms such as MVA. We are looking to support organizations and companies developing COVID-19 viral vaccines who are struggling to make sufficient quantities of a viral vaccine candidate quickly and efficiently. Together we can work to create formulations of VSE molecules for each unique vaccine manufacturing process. By “rewiring” innate antiviral defense mechanisms, some of our molecules also have the potential to improve the expression of nucleic acid-encoded COVID-19 antigens as well as anti-COVID-19 immunity.

Virica and its founders have a history of collaboration with vaccine manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies. Our ability to adapt our products to a wide range of existing viral platforms and manufacturing processes is a distinguishing feature and key advantage. We invite the many organizations developing COVID-19 vaccine candidates to consider our VSEs as they move their much-needed solutions through pre-clinical and early clinical stages of evaluation.

Ella Korets-Smith, M.Sc., M.B.A.
Chief Business Officer