The OPENCORONA consortia will develop a vaccine that protects against SARS-CoV-2 infection and/or disease in a phase I clinical trial in 24 months.

Illustration of corona virus.
corona Photo: Getty Images

No approved human coronavirus immunotherapy or vaccine exists. Thus, speed in therapy and vaccine development is critical. Genetic analysis shows that the SARS-CoV-2 envelope and receptor binding domain only has a 75% homology with other human coronaviruses. Thus, existing immunotherapies and vaccine candidates against other coronaviruses, such as SARS, will not be useful against SARS-CoV-2. We will use the DNA vaccine platform as this is currently the most rapid and robust vaccine platform. We have generated several chimeric SARS-CoV-2 genes and will select for the most potent DNA vaccine/immunotherapy candidate delivered by in vivo electroporation that protects against SARS-CoV-2 infection and/or disease in animal models and take this to phase I clinical testing.

The partners in the consortium have done this before and all know-how for reliable development is present. KI and FoHM will develop vaccine candidates and infectious models, JLU will test candidates for over-activation of innate immunity, IGEA will provide a CE marked device for in vivo electroporation in humans. Cobra will produce HQ plasmid to be used in toxicological studies and GMP plasmid for the phase I clinical study, Adlego will perform toxicological testing according to GLP, and Karolinska will write the IB (Investigator’s brochure) and IMPD (Investigational Medicinal Products Dossier), file with ethics committee and EMA, and perform a phase I clinical trial of the immunotherapy/vaccine in healthy volunteers. All these tasks are within the expertise that the partners do every day. Thus, this is truly realistic.

OpenCorona in media

Expressen 29th Nov, 2020: Här skapas vaccinet som ska klara framtida pandemier (only in Swedish)


Prof. DDS. PhD Matti Sällberg

Prof. Dr. Friedman Weber

Prof. Ali Mirazimi

Dr Matteo Cadossi

Site Manager Lars Fahlander

Dr Urban Höglund

Dr Marie Westman

Questions about the project

If you have any questions or inquieries about the OPENCORONA project please use this email addess:


Project coordinator

Matti Sällberg

Professor/biomedical analyst
H5 Department of Laboratory Medicine



Project number: 101003666


Budget: 3 000 000€

Raw data to EMBO Mol Med paper 2022 (10.15252/emmm.202215821)

Article published in Journal of Virology

First article (The SARS-CoV-2 N protein is a good component in a vaccine) from the #opencorona consortium now published in Journal of Virology.

A team effort by colleagues from #karolinskainstitutet, #folkhälsomyndigheten, #adlegobiomedical, #cobrabiologics, #igea, #karolinskauniversitetssjukhuset, #justusliebiguniversity, #igeabiomedical

Link to article

This project is sponsored by the European Union.

Photo of the EU-flag

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