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A vaccine that “dissolves in the mouth”

This strip would be similar to a Listerine sanitary strip but would in fact be a vaccine.

The McMaster team teams up with Rapid Dose Therapeutics. They say that currently COVID-19 vaccines such as Pfizer and Moderna should be stored between -15 ºC to -80 ºC. This means that they depend on complex logistics.

Our team managed to stabilize the proteins at 40 ° C, which is a game-changer, said Mark Upsdell, CEO of Rapid Dose Therapeutics, to CBC News. This is a key breakthrough.

If we think of all the countries that do not have the logistics that we have in North America … It would be possible to distribute a vaccine against COVID-19 or any other vaccine in this band and send it to those countries that do not. ‘have no infrastructure, [et] at a lower cost. They fit in an envelope. They are very, very easy to transport.

Alex Adronov, a polymer expert at McMaster University, says his team is trying to deliver the protein antigen orally.

What we’re trying to do is that rather than giving the vaccine components through a needle in the arm, we want to try to give them orally, by mouth, using a film. rapid dissolution, said Adronov.

A lot of people don’t like needles, so this is a clear benefit.

A quote from:Alex Adronov, polymer expert

The thin strips, which dissolve in the mouth, also have advantages over a pill, says Adronov.

When a pill is swallowed, he says, it must pass through the gastrointestinal system, where the molecules and components of the vaccine are broken down.

With this method of oral administration, we are trying to get the antigen, the vaccine dose, to be delivered directly to the sites where it is needed without going through what is called first-pass metabolism in the body, which is another advantage, said Adronov.

Still in the early stages

Mr. Adronov indicates that the team is still in the early stages of discovery, but has shown that it can produce protein-laden films.

The team carried out a first study on animals which showed some positive results, as the animals were able to develop antibodies against the model protein that we delivered in this way, said Adronov.

We are now working on a second round of animal studies in which we would incorporate the COVID-19 spike protein into these bands to see if we can elicit an immune response to this spike protein, the same way we do. with people with the current vaccine.

Research is carried out with the support of the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

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