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April 17, 2020updated 04 Mar 2021 4:21pm

University of Waterloo to develop nasal vaccine for Covid-19

University of Waterloo researchers in Canada are developing a DNA-based vaccine candidate that can be given via nasal route to protect from Covid-19 infection.

University of Waterloo researchers in Canada are developing a DNA-based vaccine candidate that can be given via nasal route to protect from Covid-19 infection.

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This Covid-19 vaccine will use bacteriophage-based approach, which will allow it to replicate within bacteria already present in the body, formulated to act on tissues in the nasal cavity and lower respiratory tract.

The aim is to deliver the vaccine to cells in targeted tissues and trigger the production of a virus-like particle (VLP) that will induce an immune response.

While the VLP will look similar to the SARS-CoV-2 structure, it is harmless, said the researchers. This similarity will stimulate the body’s natural immune response against viral infections similar to the VLP, including the novel coronavirus.

The VLP will attach to receptors that the coronavirus would bind to, limiting potential sites for transmission.

Through these changes in the body, the vaccine will be able to develop immunity against Covid-19 and also mitigate the severity of progressing infections. This indicates that the product can act as a vaccine, as well as a therapeutic.

University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy professor Roderick Slavcev said: “When complete, our DNA-based vaccine will be administered non-invasively as a nasal spray that delivers nanomedicine engineered to immunise and decrease Covid-19 infections.

“This research combines the expertise of many and leverages existing technology developed by my team, which we’re reconfiguring for a Covid-19 application.”

To design the vaccine, Slavcev partnered with another School of Pharmacy professor, Emmanuel Ho and a chemical engineering professor, Marc Aucoin.

A team led by Ho is designing the nanomedication, delivered by the nasal spray. The testing process for this is underway.

Meanwhile, Aucoin’s lab is constructing and purifying the VLP and working to enhance immunity after the initial administration of the vaccine.

Slavcev’s research team completed the bacteriophage delivery system design and is now altering the system for Covid-19 application. Additional design and testing will be performed later this year.

A Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada grant are supporting the research components.

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Navigate your business through the ‘new normal’

COVID-19 continues to dominate headlines the world over. It has already affected our lives forever. The way we work, shop, eat, seek medical advice, and socialize will all be different in the future. Quite how different remains to be seen, but all industries must plan for multiple eventualities.  Faced with an explosion of conflicting information on how to plan and implement successful recovery strategies, decision-makers are in dire need of a single, reliable source of intelligence.   GlobalData’s COVID-19 Executive Briefing gives you access to unparalleled data and insights to successfully navigate the uncertain road to recovery across the world’s largest industries. Understand every aspect of this disruptive theme by delving into: 
  •  COVID-19 infection update, with statistics on the spread, testing by country, as well as the latest data on vaccines and therapeutic developments 
  • Economic impact overview, covering stock market indices, GDP, unemployment rates, policy responses & GlobalData’s economic recovery scorecards 
  • Sector developments, with access to sector insight summaries, cross-sector indices and the leaders and laggards in each industry vertical 
Whatever your company’s imminent strategic plans, the long-lasting impact of COVID-19 must not be overlooked. Find out how to futureproof your business operations – download our report today. 
by GlobalData
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