Zurich - Steve Pascolo, based at the University of Zurich, is able to produce vaccines particularly quickly by making use of new technologies. He’s now working on vaccine candidates against coronavirus.

Zurich-based researcher is able to produce vaccines particularly quickly by making use of new technologies and is now working on a vaccine for COVID-19.


Using a new vaccine method, certain virus genes can be injected in the form of their RNA. They then stimulate the body’s cells to produce the associated virus protein, which results in the immune system forming antibodies. “This mRNA technology, which is based on the virus DNA, is significantly faster than existing methods,” explains the University of Zurich (UZH) in a press release. However, it is still undergoing clinical testing.

Steve Pascolo, from UZH’s University Research Priority Project Translational Cancer Research, can also work with this method. “I can produce an experimental vaccine in a few days,” he explains in the press release. He is currently working on producing a suitable coronavirus gene as a vaccine in the required quantities. Thanks to the mRNA platform that has been established for this research priority, Pascolo can quickly reproduce the virus gene.

Before the experimental vaccine can be tested on people, tests must be carried out on laboratory animals. Pascolo anticipates that his experimental vaccine against Covid-19 will be available for preclinical studies by the end of March.

According to UZH, clinical trials based on the same methods are also taking place in other countries.

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