Newswise — NORMAN, OKLA. – A study to determine the effectiveness of the drug IP-00 in producing immune responses as a booster for the eventual vaccine for COVID-19 is being conducted by researchers in the Biophotonics & ImmunoEngineering Laboratory, led by Professor Wei R. Chen in the Stephenson School of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma. The OU researchers are collaborating with Immunophotonics, Inc., St. Louis, Missouri, on the study.

Immunophotonics, per their website, is a private biotechnology company that is developing a proprietary carbohydrate polymer (IP-001) for use after a common tumor ablation procedure to induce systemic anti-tumor immune responses.

“Our drug, IP-001,” explained Tomas Hode, chief innovation officer and president of Immunophotonics, “has some very unique physiochemical and immunological properties that we believe can improve vaccines that are currently in development by other researchers around the world.”

The Chen Lab hopes to prove that IP-001 can 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.

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

“This industry partnership with Professor Chen’s team is a beautiful example of translating research from the research lab toward helping patients, driving the human impact that we value in the Stephenson School of Biomedical Engineering,” said Michael Detamore, director.