UK – Nanopharm, a UK based pharma company, and Leyden Lab, a Dutch based virology drug company, have signed a partnership agreement to develop intranasal spray product candidates that could offer protection against known and new respiratory viruses.
Under the partnership, Nanopharm will combine its expertise in the development of nasally delivered drug products with Leyden Labs’ portfolio of nasal spray product candidates.
The agreement will utilize Leyden Labs’ platform, which targets commonalities in virus families to develop product candidates that can offer protection against many strains of a virus within one product.
Meanwhile, Nanopharm will screen Leyden’s product candidates and then develop a liquid nasal spray formulation, including performance testing and nasal deposition studies.
The formulation development will all be performed at Nanopharm’s facility in Newport, UK this site houses R&D laboratories for formulation and characterization of inhaled and nasal products.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, various companies have been striving to find vaccines that are able to protect the masses against the virus. Most of which have been developed as injectables.
The current batch of COVID-19 vaccines effectively prevents severe disease and death and offers substantial protection against the variants. But the authorized vaccines are not 100 percent effective at blocking all infections.
To address this deficit, scientists are exploring new ways of delivering vaccines that yield stronger and more durable immunity against SARS-CoV-2. One promising approach might be to trade a jab in the arm for a spritz up the nose.
Over the past several months, as some manufacturers are preparing booster shots to deliver a third dose, a handful of promising studies have revealed the effectiveness of intranasal vaccines in mice, ferrets, hamsters, and non-human primates.
Further along are six candidate COVID-19 vaccines, administered as nasal sprays, that are currently in phase 1 clinical trials.
And, just this week, at the meeting of the American Society for Virology, Meissa Vaccines announced that a single dose of their intranasal COVID-19 vaccine candidate showed promising results in non-human primates.
If these vaccines come to market, immunologists believe they might offer better protection because they more closely resemble the way the virus naturally infects us through the mucous membranes of the nose and upper airways.
Vaccines that target the mucous membranes aren’t new. There are many oral vaccines that are approved to combat infections such as polio and cholera.
The idea is that they will prime the mucosal tissues of the intestinal tract in much the same way as intranasal vaccines prime the respiratory tract.
In many cases, like in the live attenuated oral polio vaccine, these vaccines work better than the shot. But intranasal vaccines remain rare in the vaccine landscape overall. Many are hoping that the pandemic will change that.