DARPA Develops Coronavirus Vaccine

When DARPA launched the Pandemic Preparedness Platform (P3) program two years ago, the likelihood of a pandemic was purely theoretical. Researchers working on this program have been looking for instant protection against dangerous infections.

The P3 plan was that, taking as a basis any pathogen that arose, to develop in two months a means to combat a dangerous disease. Then the team successfully coped with the task.

For the new coronavirus epidemic, the 60-day P3 program begins with blood sampling in a person who has had COVID-19. Then, scientists will try to extract from the sample all the protective antibodies developed by the patient’s body that allow him to fight the disease. Using modeling and bioinformatics, they will select the most effective antibody to neutralize the pathogen. Then determine the genetic sequence that encodes the creation of the selected antibodies. The resulting fragment of the genetic code is reproduced and scaled for mass use.

According to P3 manager Amy Jenkins, this approach is much faster than producing the antibodies themselves. As soon as the patient receives an injection, “his body becomes a bioreactor,” creating antibodies. At DARPA, this is called “fire fighting” technology because it can provide immediate immunity for medical personnel, ambulances, and other vulnerable people.

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