Dutch vaccine maker Intravacc has forged a partnership with Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WBVR) and Utrecht University in the Netherlands to develop an intranasal COVID-19 vaccine.
The public-private partnership will combine Intravacc’s vaccine development technology with WBVR’s viral vector technology and animal technologies and the Dutch university’s expertise in coronavirus.
According to Intravacc, the potential coronavirus vaccine will be made up of a Newcastle disease virus (NDV) vector which expresses the immunogenic spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2, which is a key target for neutralizing antibodies.
The Dutch vaccine maker claims that Newcastle disease virus has been demonstrated to be safe for intranasal/intratracheal delivery in non-human primates and other mammals.
Intravacc said that the benefit of a nasal vaccination is that it induces mucosal and also systemic immunity compared to an intramuscular vaccination, which mainly triggers an antibody response. Additionally, intranasal vaccination could also provide protection against infections at other mucosal sites like lungs, intestines, and genital tract apart from the fact that the nasal cavity is easily accessible, said the Dutch vaccine company.
Using its FDA-approved Vero cell platform, Intravacc plans to develop a scalable production process for the intranasal COVID-19 vaccine candidate ahead of GMP productions.
Dr Jan Groen – CEO of Intravacc said: “Intravacc’s strength is its ability of bridging the gap between academia and research centers towards pharma. Together with our partners WBVR and Utrecht University, we combine our expertise in developing an intranasal corona virus vaccine.
“Our safe Vero cell platform, widely used for the production of Polio vaccines, put us in the position to fast track the production of pilot lot of this NCD vector-based vaccine concept and to subsequently transfer this to large vaccine manufactures.”