Two biotech companies are joining the fight against COVID-19 with their collaborative work on an inhalable COVID-19 vaccine. The Chinese company CanSino Biologics and the Irish company Aerogen, recently announced their partnership and the preliminary results of their phase 3 clinical trial testing the vaccine. CanSino is currently preparing an application to ask for approval to market the drug in China, which the company hopes to extend to other countries in the near future.
CanSino’s has already created an injectable vaccine, called Convidicea, which has been approved for use in 10 different countries. The companies have said they developed a technique for inhaled delivery of Convidecia utilizing Aerogen’s proprietary vibrating mesh aerosol drug delivery technology.
As shown in the video above, the aerosolized vaccine is inhaled by a patient via a cup dispenser which allows the vaccine to quickly enter a patient’s airway. The company states, that this route of administration mimics the natural infection pathway of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the COVID-19 disease. As such, the company believes the inhalable route of administration may create additional benefits through generating mucosal immunity. Dr. Xuefeng YU, Chairman and CEO of CanSino, said, “It is demonstrated that the aerosolized vaccine can stimulate mucosal immunity and significantly reduce the risk of transmission, which could be a solution to rapidly build mass immune protection and accelerate the end of the pandemic.”
According to data from the company, the injectable Convidecia vaccine is around 64% effective in protecting against the COVID-19 disease, which is lower than others. However, the company shows that the vaccine is up to 96% effective in protecting against severe COVID-19 disease. Furthermore, the inhalable version of the vaccine requires a considerably smaller dose and will allow a larger number of individuals to access the vaccine in a cost-effective manner. As such, the company is hopeful that regulatory agencies will see the importance of their vaccine and quickly approve it. John Power, CEO and Founder of Aerogen, said, “the world has an urgent need for an effective, low cost, globally scalable and globally accessible solution to mass vaccination. The pioneering development undertaken by Aerogen and CanSino has resulted in a system that meets all these requirements and with a capacity to vaccinate in the billions.”
Further clinical trials are underway with the inhalable vaccine. As the world continues to look for ways to end the COVID-19 pandemic, CanSino and Aerogen join a growing list of companies that have already produced 28 different approved vaccines that have fully-vaccinate approximately 3.64 billion people worldwide.