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Massachusetts Eye and Ear

Mass. Eye and Ear

COVID-19 Vaccine Development Fund

Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Massachusetts General Hospital Advancing Novel Experimental Gene-based COVID-19 Vaccine, AAVCOVID

Leading the efforts are Luk Vandenberghe, PhD, Mass. Eye and Ear and Mason Freeman, MD, Mass General. The multi-institutional research project is working to develop and test a COVID-19 vaccine based on AAV gene transfer technology with the goal of entering clinical testing this year.

When the genetic sequences of the novel coronavirus were published in January of 2020, Dr. Vandenberghe began developing and testing genetic vaccines for the virus in his laboratory. His approach uses a unique adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector that he developed twelve years ago and has proven to be an effective vaccine carrier that is applicable to broad populations. The unique advantages of the AAV are its clinical safety record of more than 25 years and a large AAV industry that can be leveraged for fast deployment of a potential vaccine.

Learn more about the COVID-19 Vaccine Program and read the full press release.

Philanthropic Support

The AAVCOVID Vaccine development effort was launched with a generous lead gift from Mass. Eye and Ear Chairman Wyc Grousbeck and Emilia Fazzalari, followed by generous gifts from many Mass. Eye and Ear friends to whom we remain deeply grateful.