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A team in China said it’s been given the green light to begin developing an inhaled version of its COVID-19vaccine, Reuters reported. CanSinoBIO and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology recently won emergency use approval in Hungary for its injectable vaccine, Convidecia.
The recently issued EUA follows approval already given by Pakistan and Mexico.
"We are pleased to see the authorization by the Hungarian authority for our vaccine, which marks an important step forward in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic," Dr. Xuefeng YU, CanSinoBIO’s chairman and chief executive officer, said following Hungary’s EUA. "As CanSinoBIO continues to receive approvals from various governments across different continents, we are focusing on ramping up production capacity to deliver our one-shot vaccines quickly and safely to countries that are in desperate need of mass protection from this pandemic."
The company had not yet published a news release regarding the inhaled version of the vaccine. Previous trials involving the injectable product had shown 95.47% efficacy in preventing severe COVID-19 disease two weeks post-vaccination, according to the company.
The next generation of COVID-19 vaccines currently in development includes needle-free options and those that can be stored at room temperature. (iStock)
Experts have surmised that the next generation of COVID-19 vaccine may include needle-free options, potentially helping to eliminate hesitancy among groups with sensitivity to needles.
According to Bloomberg News, the World Health Organization’s top scientist said as many as six to eight new vaccines may be ready for regulatory review by the end of this year, including ones that don’t require a needle and can be stored at room temperature
Soumya Swaminathan told the news outlet that several experimental candidates use alternative delivery systems, including more single shot jabs and those administered orally, via a nasal spray and even potentially through a skin patch.
"We need to continue to support the research and development of more vaccine candidates, especially as the need for ongoing booster immunization of populations is still not very clear at this point," Swaminathan told Bloomberg News. "So we need to be prepared for that in the future."
CHINA / SOCIETY
Clinical trials approved for CanSino’s inhaled COVID-19 vaccine
By Hu Yuwei
Published: Mar 23, 2021 09:48 PM
CanSino Bio Photo:VCG
China's leading vaccine producer CanSino Biologics obtained the national drug regulator's approval on Monday to start clinical trials of its latest recombinant COVID-19 vaccine (Adenovirus Type 5 Vector) in inhalation form.
The Global Times learned that the vaccine, which was developed in cooperation with the Institute of Military Medicine under the Academy of Military Sciences, is no different in terms of virus species, cell banks, production technology or preparation formula from the company's single-dose Ad5-nCoV COVID-19 vaccine, which is already in use - it just has an additional atomization inhalation device.
The inhaled vaccine can stimulate an immune response in the mucous membranes of a person's respiratory tract. This version is less painful and more accessible, especially for children andvulnerable people, experts said.
The vaccine can be atomized into tiny particles in a device and then inhaled into the respiratory tract and lungs to stimulate mucosal immunity, a Beijing-based immunological expert who prefers to be not identified told the Global Times.
Research has confirmed that respiratory droplets and close contact are still the main transmission routes of the novel coronavirus.
Mucosal immunity acts as the first barrier against the virus and is essential for the prevention of both mild and severe cases, Jiang Chunlai, a professor at Jilin University's School of Life Sciences, told the Global Times.
"We have seen intranasal vaccines against influenza in China. But there have been limited clinical studies on inhaled vaccines. Not all viruses are suitable for inhalation, so further clinical trials are needed," Jiang said.
Clinical trials also need to be conducted to determine the dosage of the nasal spray vaccine, which may be less than the traditional injection, Jiang noted.
CanSinoBIO has tried to improve and accelerate the induced immune level of its COVID-19 vaccine by multiple delivery methods, including intramuscular injection or inhalation.
Researchers from the University of Hong Kong, Xiamen University and Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy used a similar mechanism to develop China's first nasal spray vaccine against the novel coronavirus in November 2020.