Oragenics has secured funding from the Canadian bioresearch consortium CQDM to develop a variant-agnostic protein antigen for use in its Covid-19 intranasal vaccine.

SynergiQC, the Quebec-based funding programme created by CQDM, has awarded the funding.

The project is a partnership with Inspirevax and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC).

In March 2023, Oragenics and Inspirevax entered an exclusive global licence deal to develop the former’s lead intranasal Covid-19 vaccine candidate, NT-CoV2-1.

The companies have also formed a joint development committee to oversee the vaccine development efforts together.

Oragenics expects that the funding from CQDM will help in developing two to four well-characterised stable CHO pools that express new, cross-protective vaccine antigens with well-established preclinical efficacy using intranasal immunisation.

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Using the advanced manufacturing platform of NRC, these vaccine antigens are expected to be quickly deployable in next-generation vaccine formulations.

NRC’s platform was developed for the reference strain SARS-CoV-2 spike antigen.

Oragenics president and CEO Kim Murphy said: “By collaborating with our longstanding partners, we are better able to address the evolving SARS-CoV-2 virus by working to develop broadly protective antigens designed to protect against current and future variants.

“Our pan-coronavirus vaccine candidate presents a potential universal solution to the evolving nature of SARS-CoV-2 and potentially future coronaviruses by targeting mucosal immunity at the source, being readily deployable through faster manufacturing and exhibiting lower barriers for storage and transportation.”