CHINA – CanSinoBIO, a Chinese vaccine company, COVID-19 vaccine candidate was found to trigger immune responses with no serious side effects reported, according to an early-stage clinical study.

Results from a Phase I clinical trial, published in The Lancet, found that two-doses of the inhaled Ad5-nCoV vaccine can trigger a similar immune response to a single-dose of the injected version.

This study also found that the inhaled version of the vaccine did not cause serious side effects, demonstrating an encouraging safety profile in the early-stage trial.

The inhaled two-dose candidate is modified from CanSinoBIO’s injected COVID-19 jab Ad5-nCoV vaccine, which is already approved in China and other countries around the world.

Globally, amid the COVID-19 crisis, the market for Respiratory Inhalers estimated at US$33.9 Billion in the year 2020, is projected to reach a revised size of US$51 Billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 6% over the period 2020-2027.

The respiratory inhaler global market is spreading rapidly especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a number of drug makers are developing intranasal therapy for respiratory diseases.

Still in China, a team of researchers has developed an inhalable dry powder formulation of tamibarotene, a repurposed drug, which has shown broad-spectrum antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2, MERS-CoV and influenza A H1N1 virus following pulmonary delivery in animal models.

The team, led by the University of Hong Kong (HKUMed), prepared the inhaled dry powder formulation of tamibarotene by spray freeze drying, a particle engineering technique that combines spray freezing and freeze-drying to produce particles with excellent aerosol properties for inhalation.

This research found that a dose of tamibarotene powder delivered by intratracheal administration significantly reduced virus titer and viral RNA load of SARS-CoV-2 in the hamsters’ lungs, and the antiviral efficacy was comparable to intratracheally administered remdesivir.

The broad-spectrum anti-coronavirus activity of inhaled tamibarotene powder was also demonstrated in the MERS-CoV-infected mice model as pre-challenge prophylaxis.

Moreover, remarkable anti-influenza activity of tamibarotene powder formulation was demonstrated by the improved survival rate of mice and alleviated disease severity when administered either intratracheally as prophylaxis or intranasally as treatment.

In the USA, Aridis Pharmaceutical, a biopharmaceutical company, are also in the pipeline of developing a COVID-19 monoclonal antibody (mAb) AR-711, one of two mAbs in the AR-712 cocktail.

AR-712 is being developed as a self-administered, at-home inhaled treatment for COVID-19 patients who are not yet hospitalized.

The product candidate is designed to substantially lower the barrier to treatment of COVID-19 patients and encourage treatment much earlier in the course of their disease within the patients’ own homes.

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