Turkey: Nasal COVID-19 vaccine effective versus variant

Developer of protein-based intranasal vaccine candidate says Turkey-made spray ready to start clinic studies

A Turkish-developed novel coronavirus vaccine candidate, administered through the nose, is also effective against the UK variant of the disease, a corporate official said on Friday citing independent clinical studies.

After a meeting of Turkey’s Science Committee last Tuesday, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca underlined the government’s support for the development of intranasal vaccines against COVID-19.

Yunus Emre Deli, an official from the firm that is developing the vaccine, told Anadolu Agency that research started in February 2020 and that all laboratory tests of the candidate had been performed at international standards.

Deli underlined that the pre-clinical studies of the vaccine candidate had been completed, adding that unlike its inactive and mRNA counterparts, their intranasal model was protein-based.

“The production of the first doses of the vaccine started at a GMP [Good Manufacturing Practices]-certified facility,” he said, with Phase 1 trials expected to begin soon.

Deli said that although the intranasal vaccine candidate was being developed against the Wuhan strain of the coronavirus, it was found to be effective against the UK variant as well.

“While it’s already effective on the new variants, it’ll be possible to rapidly modify it as in the mRNA vaccine technology,” he continued.

Highlighting that clinical trials are slated for completion later this year, Deli said: “It’ll be possible to produce as many as 250 million doses of the intranasal vaccine at the current capacity.”


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