Glycovax Pharma develops a vaccine against COVID-19

For immediate release

Montréal, Canada, April 21, 2020 – Glycovax Pharma, a biopharmaceutical company based in Montréal, is actively working on the development of a new vaccine approach to counter COVID-19. The prototype glycoconjugate vaccine is currently in the preclinical phase.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team of researchers and scientists at Glycovax Pharma, led by GlycoNet Investigator Dr. René Roy, world expert in glycochemistry, has analyzed the specific biomarkers of this virus. This research made it possible in particular to discover that several biomarkers identified on the virus are part of the library of glycoconjugate immunogens developed within the framework of the work of researchers at Glycovax Pharma. In addition, the structures of these carbohydrates are very similar to the structures on which the company has focused its work since 2017. 

This discovery prompted Dr. Roy’s scientific team to test its glycoconjugate vaccine candidates with a view to developing a first prototype of a semi-synthetic vaccine to counter COVID-19, which could, after a successful phase of clinical trials, be then manufactured quickly and on a large scale.

“I have dedicated my life to scientific research to develop new tools or innovative treatments for patients with different forms of cancer or other diseases involving bacteria or viruses. Analysis of the COVID-19 virus has shown us that it has properties that are directly related to the molecules we develop at Glycovax Pharma. This discovery allows us to envision a solution that could be deployed quickly enough to counter this virus. It is a disruptive scientific strategy that we have a duty to explore”, said René Roy, Ph.D., Scientific Director and Vice President of Research.

Dr. René Roy is a world expert and a pioneer in glycochemistry. He helped develop two vaccines to fight bacterial infections that cause meningitis in young children. In association with Cuban researchers, he helped develop the world’s first semi-synthetic vaccine that completely eradicated the disease in Cuba. The vaccine was subsequently administered to more than 65 million children worldwide. 

Co-founder of Glycovax Pharma, Dr. Roy is Professor Emeritus of the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM), Associate Professor at the Armand Frappier Institute of the INRS, and GlycoNet Investigator. His research and development work since the creation of Glycovax Pharma has produced promising preclinical results on vaccines designed to treat various forms of cancer.

“In response to this pandemic that is causing death here and around the world, our researchers are fully engaged in this war against COVID-19. Their research on sugar chemistry has allowed us to develop a semi-synthetic vaccine for the population, whose goal is to prevent and destroy coronavirus in a safe and economical way to be produced on a large scale. Within three months, with the appropriate  resources, we will be able to assess the effectiveness of our vaccine and whether it is able to destroy the COVID-19 virus,” added Dany Valiquette, President of Glycovax  Pharma. 

About Glycovax Pharma 
Glycovax Pharma is a biopharmaceutical company comprising a team of scientists evolving among the world elite in glycochemistry, glycobiology, immunology and nanotechnology. This team has designed a family of therapeutic tools based on glyco-nanomolecules that are revolutionizing the way to treat patients with cancer and other conditions involving bacteria and viruses.  For information visit: 

For information :
Daniel Granger, C.M. 
W. +1 514 840-7990
C. +1 514 232-1556 

Charlotte Blanche
C. +1 514 914-0593

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