Local nasal sprays to enter human trials
Two nasal spray vaccine candidates against Covid-19 developed by the National Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (Biotec) are expected to enter their first phase of human trials later this year.
Anan Jongkaewwattana, director of Biotec's Veterinary Health Innovation and Management Research Group, said the two candidates are adenovirus-based and influenza-based, and test results on mice were encouraging.
The adenovirus-based vaccine was given to mice infected with Covid-19, he said. The findings showed the animals did not fall sick, though they gained weight when compared with those given intramuscular injections, he said.
He said the vaccine candidate is jointly manufactured by KinGen BioTech, a pharmaceutical company, and meets Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) safety standards.
Mr Anan said Biotec is preparing to launch human trials using the adenovirus-based vaccine candidate against the Delta variant. The findings of tests conducted on mice are being compiled in an academic journal, he said.
He said Biotec's adenovirus-based nasal vaccine is similar to those being developed in other countries, noting they are also entering clinical trials.
As for the influenza-based vaccine, it is now up to testing to determine its effectiveness in providing protection against Covid-19, he said. The findings of tests involving mice antibodies have been published, he said.
The tests in mice, using nasal sprays and intramuscular injections, show the vaccines can trigger immune responses in the form of antibodies and T cells, he said.
The Influenza-based vaccine can also generate antibodies against Covid-19, he said.
Biotec will seek Food and Drug Administration approval to launch human trials if tests on mice show no side-effects, he said. It would collaborate with the Chulabhorn Royal Academy (CRA) in conducting clinical trials targeting the Delta variant, he said.
"If we get approval quickly, we can start the first-phase trial late this year and the second phase in March," Mr Anan said. "If it all goes well, we can start production in the middle of next year."