Dynavax, CEPI, UQ join race to develop Covid-19 vaccine

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UQ will work with CEPI and Dynavax to develop a vaccine for Covid-19.

By U2B Staff 

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Dynavax Technologies, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercialising novel vaccines announced a new partnership with the University of Queensland (UQ)and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI) for the development of a vaccine for Covid-19.

This partnership comes as an initiative by CEPI, to develop a vaccine that is set to prevent Covid-19 infections.

CEPI is leading multiple programs/partnerships that seek to improve the scientific understanding of the novel coronavirus and to develop vaccines against it, through its collaboration with the World Health Organisation.


The university will support this initiative through its rapid response technology, designed to enable fast production of new vaccines, to create a new coronavirus vaccine.

This partnership builds upon its initial partnership with CEPI, focused on developing a “molecular clamp” vaccine platform, a technology that enables targeted and rapid vaccine production against multiple viral pathogens.

Through this co-developed technology, the university is not able to generate new vaccines from the knowledge of a virus’s genetic sequence information. This technology will expedite the process of developing a new vaccine against COVID-19.


Dynavax will contribute its technical expertise and its toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) agonist adjuvant, CpG 1018 to lead this initiative toward its goal.

CpG 1018 is the adjuvant used in HEPLISAV-B(R) [Hepatitis B Vaccine (Recombinant), Adjuvanted], an adult hepatitis B vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

CpG 1018 developed by Dynavax has proven to be an effective component in the adult hepatitis B vaccine by triggering an increased vaccine immune response.

CpG 1018 provides a well-developed technology and a significant safety database, potentially accelerating the development of a COVID-19 vaccine.


Chief Executive Officer of Dynavax Technologies, Ryan Spencer commented on this research by saying that the comprehensive humanitarian response to address the risk of COVID-19 by the vaccine development community is a testament to the dedication the industry has to the global public health.

Spencer added that the company is proud to contribute to this global effort to develop a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 in collaboration with the team of researchers at the university.