The Instituto do Coração of the Hospital das Clínicas de São Paulo (Incor) received funds to continue the project to develop a vaccine in the form of a nasal spray against Covid-19.
According to Incor, the contribution of R$ 30 million was approved by the Ministry of Health and will allow the research to advance to the production phase of doses for clinical trials on humans.
“The release of this resource means a very big boost in the development of this national vaccine. We are now going to move forward with the project and for clinical tests on volunteers”, says researcher Jorge Kalil, director of the Immunology Laboratory at Incor and professor of Clinical Immunology and Allergy at USP.
In the current phase of the project, InCor is negotiating with international manufacturers for the production of immunizer doses following Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) standards and industrial scale.
According to Incor, from the closing of this agreement, an authorization request will be made from the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) to start phases 1 and 2 of tests on humans. The tests make it possible to analyze issues such as safety, immune response and the most appropriate vaccine schedule.
The vaccine, designed for application through the nostrils, has components derived from the virus that will be transported from nanoparticles.
The vaccine’s bet on the nasal spray format aims to amplify immunity at the most important point of infection: the airways. The coronavirus enters the body through the nose, infecting the mucosa.
According to Incor, the vaccine candidate must act directly on the respiratory system, strengthening the immune response throughout this region, in order to avoid the process of infection, development of the disease and transmission to other people.
“The experimental research carried out so far shows that immunized animals have high levels of IgA and IgG antibodies and also a protective cellular response. At this time of the pandemic and as the Brazilian population has been significantly vaccinated against covid-19, the purpose of this vaccine is to be a booster vaccine capable of stopping the infection and spread of the virus through air routes”, explains Kalil.
Unlike current vaccines, which use the Spike protein to induce the body’s immune response, Incor’s vaccine uses sequential peptides, which are biomolecules formed by linking two or more amino acids, derived from proteins that make up the virus. The vaccine protein is inserted into nanoparticles capable of crossing the cilia and mucus barrier present in the nose, reaching the cells.
The immunizer developed by InCor’s Immunology Laboratory has a partnership with the Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp) and different units of USP: the Faculty of Medicine, the Institute of Biomedical Sciences and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
(Under the supervision of Lucas Rocha)
Source: CNN Brasil
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