USask’s VIDO announces positive Phase 1 results for COVAC-2

Jun 23, 2021

Today the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) announced positive interim results from their Phase 1 clinical trial for COVAC-2, VIDO’s COVID-19 subunit vaccine candidate.

The interim data from the study led by the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology (CCfV) demonstrates COVAC-2 is safe and well tolerated. The most common general reaction reported was a headache and the most notable local reaction was mild injection site pain. These reactions are common after most immunizations.

Importantly, even the lowest vaccine dose tested significantly increased the participants’ antibody levels, including neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Neutralizing antibodies are associated with protection.

“The data continues to demonstrate the safety of our subunit vaccine COVAC-2,” said Dr. Volker Gerdts, director and CEO of VIDO. “We are encouraged by the vaccine’s ability to generate a significant immune response, even at the lowest dose tested.”

COVAC-2 is a protein subunit vaccine. Subunit vaccines contain purified viral proteins that are not infectious, and the technology offers many advantages including a history of safety and ease of storage and transport. The vaccine is formulated with Sepivac SWE™, an adjuvant developed by Seppic and the Vaccine Formulation Institute (VFI). An adjuvant is an ingredient that improves the immune response of a vaccine.

Participants continue to be recruited for the clinical trial at the CCfV in Halifax, and a new clinical trial site will also open in Saskatoon later this summer. If you are 18 years and older and have not been infected with COVID-19 or received an authorized COVID-19 vaccine and wish to volunteer, please contact the Clinical Trial Support Unit at or 306-978-8300 (in Saskatchewan), or email (in Nova Scotia).

“We are excited to be partnering with VIDO to open this study site in Saskatoon,” said principal investigator Dr. Stephen Sanche. “We are thankful for those in Saskatchewan that have already reached out to express their interest and are looking for more volunteers to complete the study.”

VIDO’s COVID-19 vaccine development is supported by the Government of Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan. Operations are supported by the Government of Saskatchewan through Innovation Saskatchewan and the Canada Foundation for Innovation through their Major Science Initiatives Fund.