what is efficiency, when in France?

French researchers from Inrae are working on the development of a nasal anti-Covid vaccine. Administered as a spray in the nose, it blocks the transmission of the virus in the nasal cavities and therefore its contagion. Efficiency, principles, date of arrival in France: the latest information on this innovative project.

Since June 2020, the BioMAP research team from UMR INRAE-University of Tours are working on the development of a nasal vaccine against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, supported by theANRS. “The vaccine candidate developed by the BioMAP1 team would be the 8th nasally administered vaccine in preparation worldwide, and the only French protein vaccine“selon l’INRAE.”Nasally injected vaccines (stimulating mucosal immunity) are under evaluation. They should probably be used in combination with systemic vaccination“, according to Covid Scientific Council. “The reflection on the design of clinical trials and the drafting of the phase I protocol will be initiated in the coming weeks with the support and expertise of the ANRS | Infectious diseases” report ANRS on January 20, 2022.

Definition: what is this anti-Covid nasal vaccine?

He’s a candidate vaccine based on viral proteins administered by the nasal route. What format of vaccine and spray in the nose block the transmission of virus at the level of the nasal cavities, preventing it from multiplying and then spreading throughout the body. Technically, the vaccine will be administered using a small adapter placed at the end of a needleless syringe allowing diffusion within the nasal cavity.

What are the advantages ?

Unlike intramuscular vaccines, only nasally administered vaccines would be able toavoid the presence of viruses in the nose, initial stage of infection ; they indeed induce immunity at the level of the nasal mucous membranes, entry point and place of multiplication of the virus” according to the INRAE ​​press release of January 20, 2022. In addition, this nasal vaccine requires little logistics and could be disseminated more widely :

  • to countries for which the vaccination coverage rate is satisfactory as a booster shot in order to strengthen the immune response – in particular the mucosa – to protect the vaccinated population from symptomatic forms of the disease and above all to prevent the transmission of the virus.
  • to countries whose populations are not vaccinated as a first-line treatment.

How effective is it?

At the end of 2021, “dhe new pre-clinical results, obtained with the Delta variant this winter, demonstrate the robustness of the concept of this vaccine, which blocks all contagiousness to SARS-CoV-2” indicate the INRAE ​​researchers. The pre-clinical tests carried out in the laboratory had demonstrated theefficacy of candidate vaccine after two nasal immunizations spaced three weeks apart, both in terms of immune response and early neutralization of the original virus, considerably reducing the risk of contamination by a vaccinated individual. ‘The results of this protein vaccine without adjuvant were confirmed at the end of 2021 by new pre-clinical trials on rodents validating its effectiveness against the Delta variant. The vaccine, made up of the Spike protein and non-mutated viral proteins, would therefore protect against the strain of SARS-CoV2 currently circulating despite multiple mutations.“explain the INRAE ​​scientists.

For who ?

This vaccine would therefore be intended for unvaccinated populations to protect against severe and moderate forms of COVID-19 and would also serve as a booster shot for the already vaccinated population to prevent disease transmission” according to INRAE ​​researchers.

When will it be authorized in France?

French start-up LoValTecha; holder of an exclusive worldwide license for the patent relating to this vaccine aims to “pilot the project from the development phases of the vaccine formulation to the trials in humans which would lead to a marketing authorization of the vaccine at the end of 2023, beginning of 2024“.

Sources :

A French nasal vaccine project against Covid-19 blocking all transmission of the virus – a new milestone reached” January 20, 2022, ANRS press release

A French nasal vaccine project against COVID-19 blocking all transmission of the virus – a new milestone reached“, January 20, 2022, INRAE ​​press release

The Omicron wave: a wave very different from the previous ones“, Update note n°4 of the COVID-19 Scientific Council, January 19, 2022, Ministry of Health.

A 100% French nasally administered vaccine against COVID-19: positive pre-clinical results“, September 9, 2021, INRAE ​​press release

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