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OU biomedical engineering professor takes lead to conduct study to develop a COVID-19 vaccine booster

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Felgar Hall

Felgar Hall is home to the College of Engineering. 

An OU biomedical engineering professor is conducting a study to help develop a booster for a COVID-19 vaccine. 

According to a press release from the Gallogly College of Engineering, Wei R. Chen will lead researchers in the study, which is a collaboration with Immunophotonics, Inc., a biotech company located in St. Louis, Missouri. Immunophotonics is a private biotechnology company that is developing a proprietary carbohydrate polymer (IP-001), a potential treatment for a wide variety of tumor indications, for use. 

The study will determine the effectiveness of the drug IP-001 in producing immune responses as a booster for a COVID-19 vaccine.

“I am thankful for the confidence Immunophotonics has placed in me to lead this timely and important project during the COVID-19 outbreak,” Chen said in the release. “Being part of the possible solution to strengthen vaccine outcomes is a rewarding endeavor.” 

The Chen lab wants to prove IP-001 will make COVID-19 vaccines more effective in protecting against potential infections by boosting the protection against the disease, both in relation to potential antibody generation and/or a memory T cell response, per the release.

Michael Detamore, director of the Stephenson School of Biomedical Engineering, said that this partnership with Chen’s team is a beautiful example of translating research from the lab toward helping patients.

Editor's Note: This post was updated at 10 a.m. Oct. 16 to reflect Michael Detamore is not the director of Immpunophonics, but the director of OU's Stephenson School of Biomedical Engineering.

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