Inhalable COVID-19 vaccine? Rice University scientists developing vaccine spray in fight against coronavirus

In this rendition, a phage particle displays a region of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein that retains a near-native structural conformation. Administration of this phage in mice induces a systemic immune response against the spike protein. This versatile technology serves as a first step towards developing cost-effective and easy-to-manufacture vaccines for COVID-19 and other infectious agents. (Christopher Markosian/Daniela Staquicini/Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey/Rutgers New Jersey Medical School)

HOUSTON – Scientists at Rice University’s Center for Theoretical Biological Physics announced they are a part of the development of an inhalable COVID-19 vaccination.

The development is being led by Rutgers University, CTBP scientists at Rice and Northeastern University where they have produced two vaccine strategies. According to a release, both strategies are scalable and adaptable and can be transported and stored at room temperature.

In one strategy, it delivers particles that can be inhaled to deliver protection via the lungs to the immune system, according to a release. In strategy two, it delivers injectable particles that directly encode protection against the virus in immune cells, according to the release.

They say both strategies made strong production of antibodies in rodents.

“Ongoing and planned studies will hopefully confirm that our first prototype is indeed neutralizing and leads to an Investigational New Drug application to the FDA,” said co-lead author Wadih Arap, director of the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey at University Hospital Newark. “In the meantime, the platform technology reported in this work will serve to respond promptly to emerging more virulent variants.”

To read more about phage-based vaccines, click here.

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