CORONAVIRUS vaccine scientists have been using cannabis components in what is being considered a potential COVID-19 cure.
Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada are reportedly suggesting plant-based antigens could expand coronavirus vaccine output capacity.
Zyus Life Sciences is collaborating with the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac) to create and test a prospective antigen that could be used in a coronavirus vaccine, Global News reported.
Brent Zettl – the CEO of Zyus Life Sciences, a medical cannabis company based in Sakastoon, Canada – told the news outlet: “We had a protein platform that we’ve been working on for a number of years prior to being in the cannabis space.
“I asked [our team] the question, ‘do you think that we could produce a vaccine of this type of protein using our other plant system?’ And they didn’t really see why not.”
According to Zettl: “The genetic information that VIDO-InterVac has developed to find the actual antigen that would work as a vaccine—that’s actually a strand of protein.
“So then we take that DNA and we actually then design it in a plant and then the plant itself can manufacture that same protein.”
The news comes as President Donald Trump unveiled his “Operation Warp Speed” team will push to deliver a coronavirus vaccine by the end of this year.
Zettl explained how plant-based compounds could possibly be more effective than animal-based compounds due to its ability to simply clone proteins.
He also described plants as being more appealing to vegans and “surprisingly efficient” at making proteins.
Zettl said the company is planning to have a “purified vaccine protein in a vial by the end of August” that can be handed over to VIDO-InterVac.
On Monday, Dr. Paul Hodgson – a senior manager with VIDO-InterVac – explained: “It’s significantly behind our other vaccine candidates right now.”
“I think the more valuable thing is working with a plant expression company like Zyus to see whether their methods for expressing protein might be suitable for COVID-19, or perhaps even wave two of COVID-19, or other infectious diseases.”
The organization has already commercialized two animal coronavirus vaccines – for cattle and pigs – and making it the first lab in the country to do so.
According to CBC/Radio Canada, Hodgson said a candidate antigen has already been obtained by VIDO-InterVac.
Hodgson said: “What everyone has to remember is right now these are all science projects.
“They’re very, very important science projects — but no one really knows what the final vaccine candidate will be, which one will show the best immunity and which one will move on to protect the world.”
Last month, doctors warned that smoking even just a small amount of cannabis could increase a person’s risk of coronavirus.
Doctors said the drug causes inflammation in the lungs which could significantly reduce your ability to fight COVID-19.
Meanwhile, a top scientist has said a coronavirus vaccine taken by a tablet rather than an injection could be ready by next year.
US biotech company Vaxart have developed an oral vaccine for the deadly disease which will enter human trials at the start of July.
And immunologist Dr Sean Tucker, chief scientific officer at Vaxart, believes “millions of doses” of the vaccine will be ready by the start of next year.
It comes as thousands of scientists across the world are racing to find a vaccine to halt the pandemic.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across the Unites States has reached nearly 1.5million.
At least 87,965 people have died from the killer virus in the country.