Newly Discovered Mutation in Mink Farms Highlights Need for Universal SARS Coronavirus Vaccine

November 7, 2020

DEL MAR, California – November 7, 2020 – In a press conference this week Mette Frederiksen, Prime Minister of Denmark, announced that a novel coronavirus has infected mink farms in Denmark and has jumped to humans with at least twelve people infected in the country’s Jutland region.

Frederiksen said that the new virus has mutations on the Spike protein. The Spike is used as the antigen for almost all vaccines currently in phase 3 trials around the world, and constitutes a systemic risk of failure for these first generation vaccines.

According to the Danish government one mutation can interfere with the effectiveness of future vaccines and it has therefore decided to slaughter all the animals, approximately 15 million mink, with the assistance of the army.

Phylex BioSciences co-founded by genomics pioneer Pascal Brandys, having foreseen such mutations, is currently developing a universal vaccine. “As this new mutation is not in the conserved regions of the SARS coronavirus we identified for the design of our universal vaccine, it should be equally effective against this novel coronavirus”, said Brandys.

“This latest sad episode only confirms the risks of SARS coronavirus transmission from animals to humans. We know that large animal reservoirs of the SARS coronavirus also exist in the wild and that the virus mutates rapidly in ferrets, minks, bats, and a variety of other mammals. We strongly believe that a universal SARS coronavirus vaccine will be the only long term solution against the current pandemic.”

About Phylex BioSciences
Founded at the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic by genomics pioneer Pascal Brandys and coronavirus specialist Jens Herold, Phylex BioSciences is the first company to pursue the development of a universal vaccine against the SARS coronavirus. The result of antigen engineering with conserved epitopes combined with latest generation VLP technology, the vaccine is intended to protect not only against SARS-CoV-2 but also against other virulent strains of the SARS coronavirus to come.

Pascal Brandys, CEO