Altimmune begins trial of nasal COVID-19 vaccine

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

February 25, 2021 -- Altimmune has begun enrollment in a phase I clinical trial of AdCOVID, a single-dose, intranasal COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

AdCOVID is an adenovirus-vector vaccine designed to stimulate a broad immune response, including neutralizing antibodies, mucosal immunoglobulin A (IgA), and resident memory T cells in the nasal cavity and respiratory tract. The vaccine could potentially offer a first line of defense against the SARS-CoV-2 virus by blocking transmission of the virus in the nasal cavity, according to the company.

A vial of the AdCOVID vaccine.
A vial of AdCOVID Vaccine. Image courtesy of Altimmune.

The phase I trial will evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of AdCOVID in up to 180 healthy adult volunteers between the ages of 18 and 55. Participants will receive one of three doses of AdCOVID administered as a nasal spray.

In addition to the primary study end point of safety and tolerability, the immunogenicity of AdCOVID will be evaluated by serum IgG binding and neutralizing antibody titers, mucosal IgA antibody from nasal samples, and T-cell responses. The company anticipates data from this study in the second quarter of 2021.

The vaccine is expected to have extended stability at room temperature that would allow for cold chain-free shipment of the vaccine.

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