Tonix Pharmaceuticals has reported positive preliminary results following the vaccination of non-human primates with its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, TNX-1800.

Data showed that the live attenuated TNX-1800 induced a strong immune response to CoV-2 in non-human primates.

TNX-1800 is a live modified horsepox virus vaccine for percutaneous administration. It is engineered to express the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and elicit a predominant T cell response.

Vaccine research is carried out in partnership with the Southern Research Institute, the University of Alberta.

The ongoing study is analysing TNX-1800, a modified horsepox virus encoding CoV-2 spike protein over TNX-801, a live horsepox virus vaccine at two doses.

Tonix Pharmaceuticals president and CEO Seth Lederman said: “We are pleased that all eight animals vaccinated with TNX-1800 manifested ‘takes’, a skin reaction which is a validated biomarker of functional T cell immunity, and that vaccination was associated with neutralising antibodies in each case.

“These results encourage us to advance TNX-1800 to human Phase I trials in 2021, when we expect to have Good Manufacturing Practice or cGMP, quality TNX-1800 available.”

Results showed that at day 14 after a single vaccination, all eight of the TNX-1800 vaccinated non-human primates made anti-CoV-2 neutralising antibodies.

The level of neutralising anti-CoV-2 antibody production was similar between the low and high dose TNX-1800 groups.

Furthermore, results showed that TNX-1800 was well tolerated at both doses.

Tonix now plans to conduct the second phase of the study, where the TNX-1800 vaccinated and control animals will be challenged with CoV-2.

The company earlier announced that its manufacturing partner is FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies.