Determining Long Term Immunity May Aid in Understanding Vaccine Efficacy


Virax Biolabs has developed a T-cell testing platform to develop an immune risk profile against viral threats.

The FDA recently announced its first Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) meeting for 2023, and the meeting is looking to discuss if the currently available COVID-19 vaccines should be modified and how and whether the composition and schedule for booster doses should be adjusted moving forward.

One important component that has been sorely missed in understanding virus protection is T-cell testing. The role T-cells have played in understanding COVID-19 immunity and vaccine response has been limited at best. Measuring T-cell response could help provide a more complete picture of protection after vaccination.

A growing body of evidence indicates T-cells may be an important correlate for protection and should be considered as an endpoint for vaccine clinical trials and in the development of next generation vaccines and boosters. 

The ability to determine immunity information in individuals may help to bore down on needed protection against viruses.

“As we've seen with the latest outbreak, T-cell testing is very, very important for long-term immunity,” Virax Biolabs Group Chief Scientific Officer Tomasz George, PhD, said. “So in order for you to get a real picture of how your body is adapted to a virus, or whether you're going to fight off a new virus in the future, it's useful to look at your T cells to say actually, will I mount an effective response if I was to get this virus again, or if I was to get new virus in the future that's kind of maybe similar to a virus that I've had in the past?”

United Kingdom-based Virax Biolabs Group is a biotech company that is focused on the detection and diagnosis of viral diseases, with a particular interest in the field of immunology.

Virax is currently developing a proprietary T-cell testing platform, Virax Immune, with the intention of providing an immunology profiling platform that assesses each individual’s immune risk profile against major global viral threats. The goal is to help individuals track their immune status and provide suggestions to guide their health, and the company expects to do this by augmenting the patient/user experience by launching its Virax Immunity mobile application.

In addition to the aforementioned platform, the company has commercially available tests for COVID-19 and introduced monkeypox and varicella-zoster viruses real-time PCR detection kits earlier this year.

Contagion spoke to George who offered some insights into why T-cell testing has been limited thus far, provided background on their T-cell platform, and how immune-profiling can work on a larger scale.

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