Vaccine Race: Mei Mei Hu on Developing, Researching a COVID-19 Vaccine


A vaccine developer joins for a firsthand discussion on the development, research, and distribution process.

Episode highlights

0:17 It’s IDWeek!
3:00 Contagion® COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker Update
6:00 Introducing Mei Mei Hu
7:12 The young history of Covaxx
7:45 The vaccine launch process
9:33 What is the UB-612 platform?
11:33 Current research
13:34 Concerns over rapid COVID-19 vaccine development?
18:25 Manufacturing needs
20:23 What are the barriers?
23:00 Outro

Today marks the beginning of IDWeek 2020, as the global-scale infectious disease meeting has been forced to resort its comprehensive clinical agenda to a virtual format due to coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

As an acknowledgement to the great burden of COVID-19—and in spirit with the meeting’s great collaborative efforts—the first 24 hours of the annual meeting are dedicated to discussions around the pandemic, titled “Chasing the Sun.”

While Contagion® will provide around-the-clock IDWeek 2020 coverage over the next days, we kick off our content in a similar fashion: the second episode of our limited series podcast Vaccine Race.

In this episode, senior editor John Parkinson sits down with Mei Mei Hu, co-chief executive officer of vaccine development company Covaxx, and honorary member of Time Magazine’s Next 100 List of 2019.

Covaxx’s investigational COVID-19 vaccine, UB-612, is the first multitope peptide-based vaccine capable of activating both B-cells and T-cells.

Hu spoke to Contagion about her company and its creation of this interesting candidate, and provided some firsthand insights into getting a vaccine through the development process.

Stay tuned for more IDWeek 2020 content, and a new Vaccine Race episode, throughout the week.

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