Interviewer: Professor Hotez, thank you
for taking the time today to discuss with
us the coronavirus vaccines
being developed by you and
your team at the Baylor College
Could you start by giving a quick
overview of the vaccines?
Prof. Hotez: Sure,
there are multiple vaccines that
are going into clinical trials,
all of them operate by inducing immunity
against the spike protein of the virus.
If you've ever looked at a cartoon of
a coronavirus, it looks like a donut with
a cream filling of RNA, and then around it
are spikes that bind to the host receptor.
All of the vaccines that are moving into
clinical trials work by creating an immune
response to that spike, so it's a matter
of finding the best way to do that,
and there are both traditional and
new technologies that you can use for
We're using an old-school technology,
the same one used to make the recombinant
hepatitis B vaccine all over the world,
we use a similar type of
recombinant protein approach.
Another old-school approach is
using an inactivated virus, and
then there are newer technologies
which you've been hearing about.
Interviewer: Can you talk a bit
more about the technology that you and
your team are using?
Prof. Hotez: Ours is mainly
focused on a traditional technology,
the same one used to make
the hepatitis B vaccine,
this is a recombinant protein
vaccine made in yeast.
The advantage of it is that the yeast
puts out a fair bit of this vaccine
in our hands when we scale it up through
a microbial fermentation process,