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Oxford University to investigate nasal spray delivery of AZ-partnered COVID-19 vaccine

Early-stage trial will enrol 30 healthy volunteers aged 18-40

Oxford University has announced the launch of a phase 1 trial investigating the delivery of its AstraZeneca (AZ)-partnered COVID-19 vaccine using a nasal spray.

The study will be conducted at Oxford University’s Jenner Institute, and aims to determine if intranasal administration of the vaccine can improve protection against infection and transmission of COVID-19.

The early-stage trial will enrol 30 healthy volunteers aged 18-40 to investigate the level of immune system responses generated by the vaccine using this delivery method. Researchers will also monitor the safety of the delivery technique and any adverse reactions.

The study volunteers will receive the same vaccine that is currently being delivered by intramuscular injection as part of the national roll-out of the AZ COVID-19 vaccine – also known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19.

The vaccine will be delivered using an intranasal spray device, which is similar to many over-the-counter hay fever nasal sprays, Oxford University said in a statement.

“Some immunologists believe that delivering the vaccine to the site of infection may achieve enhanced protection, especially against transmission, and mild disease,” said Sandy Douglas, clinician-scientist and chief investigator of the phase 1 study.

“We hope this small safety-focused study will lay the foundation for future larger studies that are needed to test whether giving the vaccine this way does protect against coronavirus infection,” she added.

Participants will be asked to fill in an electronic diary card to inform study investigators of any symptoms following vaccination. Participants will also be required to have blood and nasal swabs taken at most of the follow-up visits, with volunteers set to be followed for a total of four months.

“This is an exciting new approach to administering a leading COVID-19 vaccine that could be very effective in preventing not just disease episodes but also asymptomatic infections, and thereby help reduce transmission in the population,” said Adrian Hill, director of the Jenner Institute and principal investigator of the study.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

29th March 2021

From: Research

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