TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A new nasal spray against COVID-19 developed by National Taiwan University (NTU) has been shown to be effective and is expected to enter human trials in the first half of 2022.
While intramuscular injection generates IgG antibodies, mostly in the lower part of the respiratory system, the new intranasal vaccine can elicit IgA antibodies in the upper airways in addition to IgG antibodies. This reduces the likelihood of cases passing the virus to others, according to Huang Li-min (黃立民), president of the Infectious Disease Society of Taiwan and superintendent of NTU Children's Hospital.
Animal experiments with the nasal alternative indicated better efficacy against COVID, but time and money are needed before the human trials begin. The research was sponsored by the Ministry of Science of Technology, wrote CNA.
The trials targeted the original strain of COVID-19, and further studies are required to determine whether the spray is also potent against variants, Huang added. The scientists are seeking collaborations with local biotech companies.
Countries around the world are working to develop non-injectable vaccines against the pandemic, which has been raging for over a year, hoping to encourage inoculation among the needle-phobic. Thailand announced earlier this month that it has two promising nasal sprays set to start human trials by the end of the year, reported Reuters.