British Scientists Test First Needle-Free Pneumatic COVID-19 Vaccine, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Scientists at the University of Cambridge began a clinical trial of a needle-free pneumatic vaccine on Tuesday, which is expected to help fight future variants of COVID-19.

Developed by Professor Jonathan Heeney of the University of Cambridge and spin-off company DIOSynVax, the new DIOSvax technology is dubbed a next-generation coronavirus vaccine delivered by a breath of air that delivers the dose into the skin.

It offers a possible future alternative for people who fear needle-based injections and, if successful, it could be expanded and made into a powder to boost global immunization efforts, especially in low-income countries. and intermediate.

“The response of the scientific and medical communities to the development and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines has been incredible, but as new variants emerge and immunity begins to wane, we need newer technologies,” he said. Heeney said.

“It is vital that we continue to develop next-generation vaccine candidates that are ready to protect us from the next viral threats. Our vaccine is innovative, both in terms of how it prepares the immune system to respond with a broader protective response to coronaviruses, and how it is delivered. Above all, this is the first step towards a universal vaccine against the coronavirus that we are developing, protecting us not only from variants of COVID-19 but from future coronaviruses, ”he said.

The first volunteer will receive the vaccine this week at the NIHR Southampton Clinical Research Facility.

The COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 virus uses “spike” proteins on its surface to enter host cells. These proteins bind to ACE2, a protein receptor on the surface of cells in our airways, allowing the virus to release its genetic material into the host cell. The virus hijacks the host cell’s machinery to replicate and spread.

Vaccines educate our bodies about what dangerous infections look like and how to respond to them. It is much safer than being infected with the live virus, as it avoids the potentially fatal effects that the whole virus can have.

Vaccination arms our immune system to seek out and block the virus, or destroy the cells that carry the spike protein, protecting us from COVID-19 disease. Unfortunately, SARS-CoV-2 is constantly changing, and the virus spike protein itself is changing. This raises the prospect of a ‘vaccine breakout’, where changes to the spike protein mean the immune system is no longer able to recognize it.

To get around this problem, the University of Cambridge team looked for new types of antigens – key regions of the virus – that are the same in coronaviruses found in nature, including the animals that carry them, like bats.

While most COVID-19 vaccines use the RNA sequence for the spike protein of the virus from the first samples isolated from the COVID-19 virus in January 2020, the new DIOSvax technology uses predictive methods to encode antigens such as advanced protein that mimic the larger family of coronavirus antigens, thus providing broader protection.

Prof Heeney explained, “DIOS-CoVax vaccines target parts of the viral structure that are common to all known ‘beta-coronaviruses’ – those coronaviruses that pose the greatest threats of disease to humans. These are structures that are vitally important to the life cycle of the virus, which means we can be sure that they are unlikely to change in the future.

“These next-generation DIOSvax vaccines should protect us against the variants we’ve seen so far – alpha, beta, delta variants, for example – and hopefully protect us against emerging variants and pandemics.” potential for coronavirus. “

Funding for the vaccine and the needle-free trial was provided by Innovate UK, which is part of the UK’s Research and Innovation Network.

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