Researchers lead development of coronavirus nasal spray vaccine

Home Researchers lead development of coronavirus nasal spray vaccine

“We don’t know if this is going to work,” says Dr. Langlois. “It is reasonable to think that it could, and if it does, it will be a cheap way to produce a lot of vaccines for a lot of people, very quickly.”

Dr. Marc- André Langlois, Virologist, University of Ottawa

Researchers lead development of coronavirus nasal spray vaccine

In the fight against COVID-19, researchers from the University of Ottawa are working to identify therapeutic and diagnostic antibiodies as well as a nasal spray vaccine.

A team of nine labs, led by University of Ottawa virologist Dr. Marc- André Langlois, secured $1-million in CIHR funding to pursue a combination of tools against COVID-19. The funding is part of a government investment totaling $26.8 million for research into solutions to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Through access to a certified Containment Level 3 lab in Ottawa, the University of Ottawa and National Research Council scientists can safely work on the live infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus.

“We hope to isolate antibodies that are cross-reactive to several key members of the coronavirus family. So if ever there is another outbreak of a new coronavirus, we will already have tools to counter it.”

The team will then attempt to develop a vaccine. Taking a different approach from other researchers, they will use various plants to mass-produce the viral spike proteins that are on the surface of the coronavirus. These proteins become a target that the immune system can learn to detect as a threat. The plant-based method is cheaper, easier and safer than traditional methods that use animal cell cultures in bioreactors. The goal is to use the resulting viral proteins to make a nasal spray vaccine.

To learn more visit University of Ottawa.