Intravacc Partners with Wageningen Bioveterinary Research and Utrecht University

By Contract Pharma Staff | 06.04.20

Aim to develop an intranasal COVID-19 vaccine with a NDV vector

Intravacc, a translational research and development Vaccine institutes, with a track record in developing viral and bacterial vaccines, has announced more details on its development of an intranasal vaccine against COVID-19. The vaccine will be developed through a newly established public private partnership that combines the vaccine development technology from Intravacc, the viral vector technology and animal technologies from Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WBVR) based in the Netherlands, and the coronavirus expertise from Dutch Utrecht University.
 
The aim of this partnership is to develop an intranasal vaccine to protect humans against COVID-19. The vaccine will consist of a Newcastle disease virus (NDV) vector that expresses the immunogenic spike (S) Protein of SARS-CoV-2, which is an important target for neutralizing antibodies. NDV has been shown to be safe for intranasal/intratracheal delivery in mammals, including non-human primates.
 
The advantage of a Nasal vaccination is that it induces both mucosal and systemic immunity, whereas an intramuscular vaccination primarily induces an Antibody response. In addition, intranasal vaccination may also confer protection against infections at other mucosal sites, such as the lungs, intestines and genital tract. On top of this, the nasal cavity is also  easily accessible.
 
Intravacc will develop a scalable vaccine production process using its FDA -approved Vero Cell platform, in preparation of GMP productions. WBVR has developed a technique called ‘reverse genetics’, which allows the genetic modification of Newcastle disease virus (NDV). NDV can cause disease in birds but is harmless for mammalian species including humans. WBVR has used the reverse genetics technique to develop NDV as a vaccine vector against human and animal Infectious Diseases . This vector technology will now be used to generate a vaccine against COVID-19.
 
“Intravacc’s strength is its ability of bridging the gap between academia and research centers towards pharma. Together with our partners WBVR and Utrecht University, we combine our expertise in developing an intranasal corona virus vaccine,” commented Dr. Jan Groen, CEO of Intravacc. “Our safe Vero cell platform, widely used for the production of Polio vaccines, put us in the position to Fast Track the production of pilot Lot of this NCD vector-based vaccine concept and to subsequently transfer this to large vaccine manufactures.”