Intranasal COVID-19 vaccine aims to add mucosal immunity


By Reuters Staff

(Reuters) - An experimental intranasal COVID-19 vaccine now being tested for the first time in humans showed promising results in monkeys, researchers are expected to report on Thursday at ASV 2021, the annual meeting of the American Society of Virology.

The protection provided to the primates by a single dose of the vaccine from Meissa Vaccines was equivalent to the protection provided by currently authorized vaccines, according to a news release from the company.

Like injected vaccines, the intranasal vaccine, which is administered via drops or spray into the nose, stimulates the body to produce antibodies that circulate in the blood.

But the intranasal vaccine also stimulates production of antibodies on mucosal surfaces that line the airways, which is where the virus first makes contact and enters the body, the research team reported in a paper seen by Reuters and submitted for posting ahead of peer review on the bioRxiv preprint server.

The pilot study in humans, which got underway in March, is expected to enroll 130 volunteers to evaluate the safety, tolerability and immune system effects of various doses of the vaccine.

Once it selects a safe dose likely to be most effective against the virus, the company will need to conduct larger and more rigorous trials.

"We believe Meissa's intranasal COVID-19 vaccine has the potential to be an important part of the endgame solution to contain SARS-CoV-2," Roderick Tang, chief scientific officer of Meissa Vaccines, said in a statement.

SOURCE: ASV 2021, July 19-23, 2021.

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