The next generation of Covid-19 vaccines could be a pill or a spray. The deepening of the Wall Street Journal
The next generation of Covid-19 vaccines in development could be a pill or nasal spray and be easier to store and transport than the current handful of vaccines that form the backbone of the worldwide vaccination effort – writes the WSJ .
These new vaccines, from U.S. government labs and companies including Sanofi SA, Altimmune Inc., and Gritstone Oncology Inc., also have the potential to provide longer-lasting immune responses and to be more potent against new and multiple viral variants. , possibly helping to avoid future pandemics, the companies say.
Vaccines currently licensed for use in the United States by Pfizer Inc. and its partner BioNTech SE, as well as Moderna Inc., must be transported and stored at low temperatures and require two doses administered weeks apart.
The new vaccines could "be some improvement" on these limitations and adapt more easily to vaccination efforts in rural areas, said Gregory Poland, a professor and vaccine researcher at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "You will see second and third generation vaccines," he said.
There are 277 Covid-19 vaccines in development globally, of which 93 have entered human trials, according to the World Health Organization. Most vaccines in clinical trials are injected, but there are two oral formulations and seven nasal spray formulations.
Many of the next-generation vaccines are in the early-middle stage of human trials, which means they may not be available until 2021 or 2022. There is no guarantee that the vaccines will be successful in testing, and some of the companies that they develop them, like Altimmune and Gritstone, they never brought a vaccine to market.
If proven to safely protect people from Covid-19, the new vaccines could serve as a booster in the United States, where most of the adult population is expected to be inoculated by the summer with vaccines currently licensed by Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson. & Johnson. Infectious disease specialists increasingly expect periodic recalls to be needed to extend the duration of protection against the novel coronavirus and to build defenses against the variants. They are also studying whether giving a person doses of two different vaccines can improve their effectiveness.
The new vaccines could also be used as primary vaccinations in countries that are lagging behind in mass immunization campaigns.
"It is critically important in the future to have vaccines that are easier to handle and have better cold chain characteristics," said John Mascola, director of the vaccine research center at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. .
Altimmune is developing a Covid-19 vaccine that is administered as a nasal spray, similar to AstraZeneca's FluMist flu vaccine which is a popular choice for children for seasonal flu vaccination.
"It's a very easy and efficient way to administer the vaccine," said Scot Roberts, chief scientist at Altimmune. “No need for needles and syringes”.
The vaccine uses a modified version of a harmless virus called adenovirus, which is engineered to carry a genetic code that instructs the body's cells to make the protein spike from the coronavirus. This induces an immune response, including the production of antibodies in the blood, building a defense against the actual virus.
The design is similar to the Covid-19 vaccines injected by Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca. But because the Altimmune vaccine is given as a nasal spray, it could also induce a type of immune response known as mucosal immunity, which could help clear the virus from the respiratory tract, thus helping to reduce transmission of the virus by vaccinated people. according to Dr. Roberts.
"Having this mucosal immunity that can block the infection as it enters and also neutralize it when it exits could be very important from a public health perspective," he said.
By mid-year, the company expects the results of an early-stage study to see if the vaccine safely induces the desired immune response.
Vaxart Inc. of South San Francisco, California is developing a Covid-19 vaccine as a tablet that can be swallowed. A small early-stage study showed it triggered immune responses against the virus and has the potential to protect against variants, the company said in February.
Vaxart plans to begin an intermediate phase, or phase 2, study of the vaccine in tablets by the middle of the year, a spokesperson said.
Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline PLC are jointly exploring potential vaccines against the new variants, while also testing a modified version of their original injected Covid-19 vaccine candidate, which studies have shown failed to induce a sufficient immune response in older adults.
Pfizer and Moderna are also pursuing second-generation vaccines, including those targeting variants, as well as new formulations that improve storage and shipping. Their first-wave vaccines, cleared by the Food and Drug Administration in December and more than 90% effective in preventing Covid-19, are generally safe, but require two doses as well as shipping and low-temperature storage, and have a limited duration once defrosted.
Government and academic researchers are also working on new vaccines, including at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and NIAID.
WRAIR recently began a clinical trial of its experimental Covid-19 vaccine that could provide broader protection against the variants. Eventually, U.S. Army researchers hope to make a vaccine to protect against all types of coronaviruses in one shot, said Dr. Kayvon Modjarrad, director of the emerging infectious disease branch institute.
This goal is shared by Drew Weissman, a University of Pennsylvania professor and immunologist who has done crucial research on the technology behind the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Dr. Weissman says he fears that new pandemics may arise in the years to come involving even more dangerous pathogens than the coronavirus behind Covid-19, known as SARS-CoV-2.
"It is almost certain that we will have more pandemics in the future," he said.
Dr. Weissman is also working on a vaccine to protect against all coronaviruses, including those that cause the life-threatening diseases SARS and MERS. The vaccine has been shown to protect mice from the disease, he said
Another approach towards next-generation immunization is to investigate whether combining multiple existing Covid-19 vaccines is more effective than a single vaccine.
Government scientists hope to learn how to use different booster vaccines to improve the duration of protection while safeguarding against dangerous variants of the virus, says John Beigel, the associate director for clinical research in Niaid's division of microbiology and infectious diseases.
The scientists, working with academic partners, hope to start the study in the coming months and have some answers this summer. The University of Oxford is conducting another study involving mixing of vaccines.
Nelson Michael, director of the Center for Infectious Diseases Research at the Wrair, calls it the "Cocoa Puffs / Trix" government experiment.
“It's like looking at what's on the shelf, taking some of this first and then some of that after, an approach like a kid would do with breakfast cereal,” he says.
(Extract from the press review of Epr)
This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/sanita/come-saranno-le-prossime-generazioni-di-vaccini-anti-covid-report-wsj/ on Sat, 08 May 2021 05:33:08 +0000.