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A vaccine 50 years in the making: How a London researcher laid the foundations for the coronavirus jab decades ago

A vaccine 50 years in the making: How a London researcher laid the foundations for the coronavirus jab decades ago
Getting his Pfizer vaccine this week was the culmination of a near 50-year scientific journey for Professor Gregory Gregoriadis, who first proposed the technique the Covid vaccine, and now the whole world, is relying on. The 86-year-old scientist authored a paper with the late biochemist Brenda Ryman while they were both working at the Royal…

Getting his Pfizer vaccine today was the culmination of a near 50- year clinical journey for Professor Gregory Gregoriadis, who first proposed the technique the Covid vaccine, and now the whole world, is depending on.

Then in 1974 Prof Gregoriadis co-authored a paper published in the journal Nature, explaining the advantages of liposomes in vaccines.

Fast forward to 2021 and both the Pfizer and Moderna Covid vaccines are using comparable innovation to provide the hereditary directions that help the human body battle off Covid-19

Speaking to The Independent from his home in Northwood, Middlesex, Prof Gregoriadis said he was “very happy” to have actually gotten the Pfizer vaccine on Sunday, including: “Getting the vaccine made me extremely euphoric.

” We were the very first to suggest liposomes as vaccine providers. You publish papers and you hope it is considerable, but I never ever envisioned it would pertain to this point and be utilized in a pandemic like this.”

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He included: “When I initially found out about Covid I believed ‘what a pity I do not have a laboratory’ because I wanted to do something about it.”

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines both use lipid nanoparticles which encapsulate and transportation mRNA into the body, which triggers cells to produce the spike protein of Covid-19, creating an immune reaction which safeguards against the infection.

Teacher Gregory Gregoriadis with Dr Brenda Ryman in their lab at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medication in1971, the year they published their research study about the use of liposomes as drug providers

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Professor Gregory Gregoriadis with Dr Brenda Ryman in their laboratory at the Royal Free Health Center School of Medication in 1971, the year they published their research about using liposomes as drug carriers

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This technology is a direct descendant of the research study carried out by Prof Gregoriadis which led to the advancement of vaccines for hepatitis A and flu in the1990 s.

The crucial discovery, in London in the1970 s, was the role of liposomes as an” immunological adjuvant” in vaccines, helping the body to produce more antibodies in response to the vaccine.

Without the role of lipids in the vaccine, it’s most likely the Pfizer jab would be far less reliable at developing resistance.

Prof Gregoriadis said:” Covid-19 vaccines are a special occasion, certain to save the lives of numerous numbers of people. I’m happy that the vaccine technology being used in the global fight against coronavirus has its origins in the work we initially performed in London50 years back.

” It’s been extremely amazing to be involved with and after that check out the advancements that have taken place ever since which have actually now culminated in many healing applications, and vaccines which are being rolled out worldwide.

” On an individual level I’m delighted to have recently had the Pfizer vaccine myself as it has actually been shown to be extremely reliable. I’m eagerly anticipating spending more time with my grandchildren as my other half Susan and I didn’t see them as much as we want to in 2020.”.

Born in Athens, Prof Gregoriadis is teacher emeritus at University College London and has published almost 400 research documents, evaluations, short articles and book chapters, in addition to 27 volumes on drug and vaccine delivery.

Describing how the discoveries were made he said: “In 1970 I signed up with Brenda Ryman’s lab at The Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine to work on systems that can target the liver in the therapy of glycogen storage disease where glycogen collects in the liver because of the absence of an enzyme.

” One of the systems under consideration was nylon microcapsules. I turned down nylon as non-biodegradable.”

He stated another scientist in the lab was dealing with liposomes and he and Dr Ryman agreed to attempt and utilize the fat droplets to trap the enzyme required and deliver it to the liver.

” It turned out that by shaking the dry lipid with water consisting of the enzyme, the enzyme was entrapped in the liposomes.”.

This triggered years of additional research and advancements that led scientists to the advancement of the coronavirus vaccines.

Prof Gregoriadis informed The Independent he believed the technology would continue to enhance and the lipid nanoparticle approach, which he stated was much better and simpler to maker than other vaccines, would become a lot more typical in future.

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