Three universities in Turkey's capital of Ankara are collaborating on the development of a coronavirus vaccine, with support from the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK).
The public Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ), and the private Bilkent and Hacettepe Universities have come together for the effort, according to an announcement by ODTÜ's Dr. Mayda Gürsel, a professor at the university's Department of Biological Sciences.
Gürsel worked with the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for seven years on developing vaccines, and took part in the creation of a critical Hepatitis B vaccine called Heplisav in 2018.
“The virus has four main proteins. We will produce these proteins in mammalian cells by placing gene clusters in special vectors. These proteins will be used as antigens and will then be mixed with the CpG oligonucleotide adjuvant, which will direct the immune response to the antigen and will be tested in different preclinical experiments,” Gürsel said
Gürsel emphasized that apart from the development of the vaccine, testing for the virus carries great importance. She said that the mutation speed of coronavirus was much lower than that of the common flu, and cited this a reason for why she and her colleagues weren't expecting any major mutations and were hopeful regarding the outcome of the vaccine.German biotech company owned by Turkish scientist signs deal with Chinese pharmaceutical firm for coronavirus vaccineTurkey’s coronavirus death toll reaches 812 with 38,226 cases