A nasal vaccine against Covid-19 soon available thanks to starch nanoparticles?

Vaxinano had a nose. By adapting its vaccine expertise to Covid-19, this Lille start-up is participating in the development of the nasal vaccine presented last week by the University of Tours and the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (Inrae).

This is a vaccine that can be given into the nose, two instillations three weeks apart. A godsend for people who fear bites. The first studies are encouraging.

“Positive preclinical results”

Indeed, this vaccine based on nanoparticles has “demonstrated positive preclinical results,” said the management of Vaxinano on Tuesday in a press release. Although, so far, the work has only been done on mice and hamsters and has not yet been published.

“The first results are comparable to those already obtained on our experimental influenza vaccine. This technology has also already confirmed its effectiveness in the fight against deadly toxoplasmosis in monkeys, ”explains Professor Didier Betbeder, founder and CEO of Vaxinano, installed on the Eurasanté site since 2016.

In principle, the starch nanoparticles, manufactured at the northern industrialist Roquette, allow the vaccine to pass directly through the mucus. “No inflammation, nor adjuvant, specifies Didier Betbeder. And the advantage of the nasal passage is that 80% of infections start there. “The vaccine candidate should thus make it possible to” stimulate the immune response and block transmission, “he continues.

“Absence of widely proven toxicity”

It remains to convince the general public of the absence of harmfulness of nanoparticles, these objects whose size is a thousand times smaller than that of a human cell and is close to that of a virus. “We still have to do a lot of teaching on the subject, but the absence of toxicity is widely proven by the various studies carried out,” says Professor Betbeder.

The four partners, Vaxinano, the University of Tours, Inrae and the BioMap laboratory are now seeking funding to start the first clinical trials on humans as quickly as possible. “We hope to start studies in early 2022 so that the vaccine can be marketed in 2023”, announces Didier Betbeder.

The technology seems to be of interest to researchers: seven nasal vaccines against Covid-19 are in the experimental phase around the world and, according to its managing director, Vaxinano is working on other diseases with its nasal vaccine.

 
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