The Pasteur Institute advances in the development of a nasal vaccine against covid

Paris, May 7 (EFE) .- The Pasteur Institute, a world reference in medical research, seeks to redeem itself from the failure of its first ...

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Paris, May 7 (EFE) .- The Pasteur Institute, a world reference in medical research, seeks to redeem itself from the failure of its first candidate for a vaccine against covid-19 and has taken a new step in the development of a nasal vaccine against the disease. In an interview with EFE, the scientific director of the institution, Christophe D’Enfert, also explained that they are behind the conception of a drug based on monoclonal antibodies to stop covid.

The nasal vaccine project has just finished preclinical animal testing and Pasteur is now working on a “hypothetical” start of phase 1 and 2 human clinical trials. “It is a vaccine that can stimulate the production of antibodies and the immune response of cells. It can be applied intranasally, which can facilitate its use and seems to protect against the different variants,” said D’Enfert.

The nasal vaccine

The laboratory associated with Pasteur is involved in the work of the nasal immunizer, which would be based on “the use of viruses of the HIV family to have the possibility of producing the spike protein (protein S)” to elicit the immune response. “We would love to be able to accelerate the project in the coming months,” he said.

The director considered, however, “very early” to give a precise calendar on when it could be ready: “We have finished the preclinical phases and we are in the process of reflection before entering the clinical phases.” In addition, he considered that before proposing it, the “panorama of the epidemic, with the emergence of variants” would also have to be taken into account, in order to be consistent with the needs for vaccines in the world.

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The process is already a little more thoughtful

“In 2020 you had to go very fast, perhaps a little without thinking about aspects of vaccine strategy, market, but you had to find a vaccine, it was essential, and what has been done has been fantastic at all levels in just one anus. Now we are in another moment ”, he said. The French Pasteur Institute, one of the main centers for research on vaccines in the world where the vaccine that protects against rabies was devised in the 19th century, has not been successful so far in devising its own anticovid immunizer.

The United States, the United Kingdom, China and Russia, who share a table in the permanent UN Security Council with France, have their vaccine. Also neighboring Germany. “It was not a project that lacked funding or knowledge. What happened is that we chose a candidate who was not the correct one ”, he assumed.

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ANTICOVID MEDICATION

Trying to make up for lost time, the Pasteur is also behind an approach therapeutic against covid, although still in an embryonic stage. “We have identified a monoclonal antibody that can be used in preclinical models to prevent the development of covid. It allows not only to protect against the original strain, but also against the variants ”, he pointed out.

According to D’Enfert, the objective would be to artificially produce this type of antibodies found in convalescent people, whose leukocyte cells produce them against the spike proteins of the coronavirus. “With a biotechnological approach we can get to produce those antibodies in an investigation process that we started in April 2020 ″, he wished.

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You have to be prepared, even with the nasal vaccine

The director of Pasteur warned that surely other pandemics will break out in the future. “It is not a question of pessimism, in 20 years we have had seven major epidemic outbreaks.” “We have lived through a pandemic like the covid with the Spanish flu for 100 years. Perhaps in the next 5 or 10 years we will not see one like this, but we must not exclude that there are some situations that lead us to a new one ”.

For D’Enfert, “the important thing” is to be prepared to prevent a localized epidemic from turning into a pandemic. He also named two factors that can contribute to unleashing it: climate change, with the arrival of disease-transmitting mosquitoes in colder climates, and contact between man and fauna. EFE

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