Needle-free COVID-19 vaccine shows promise

A needle-free COVID-19 vaccination could be possible, with University of Queensland scientists successfully protecting mice from the virus by administering a US-developed vaccine candidate with a ‘patch’.

The University of Texas Hexapro vaccine candidate - delivered via the UQ-developed and Vaxxas-commercialised high-density microarray patch (HD-MAP) - provided protection against COVID-19 disease with a single, pain-free 'click' from a pocket-sized applicator.

Dr David Muller, from UQ's School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, said the vaccine patch produced strong immune responses that were shown to be effective when the mice were exposed to SARS-CoV-2 - the virus that causes COVID-19.

"When the Hexapro vaccine is delivered via HD-MAP applicator - rather than a needle - it produces better and faster immune responses," Dr Muller said.

"It also neutralises multiple variants, including the UK and South Africa variants.

"And it's much more user-friendly than a needle - you simply 'click' an applicator on the skin, and 5000 microscopic projections almost-imperceptibly deliver vaccine into the skin."

Dr Muller said the UQ team, together with Vaxxas, hoped to take the technology to the world and are looking for funding opportunities to accelerate to clinical trials as soon as possible.

"Hexapro, delivered by the high-density microarray patch, could dramatically assist global vaccine rollout effort, particularly for billions of vulnerable people in low- and middle-income countries.

"We've shown this vaccine, when dry-coated on a patch, is stable for at least 30 days at 25 degrees Celsius and one week at 40 degrees, so it doesn't have the cold chain requirements of some of the current options."

President and CEO of Vaxxas, David L. Hoey, said he was extremely excited about the findings.

"These results are extremely clear - vaccination by HD-MAP produces much stronger and more protective immune responses against COVID-19 in model systems than via needle or syringe," he said.

"We thank and recognise our incredible research collaborators at UQ for these important findings.

"The prospect of having a single-dose vaccine, that could be easily distributed and self-administered, would greatly improve global pandemic vaccination capabilities."

Hou Jingwei, Chen Peng, Shukla Atul, Krajnc Andraž, Wang Tiesheng, Li Xuemei, Doasa Rana, Tizei Luiz HG, Chan Bun, Johnstone Duncan N, Lin Rijia, Schülli Tobias U, Martens Isaac, Appadoo Dominique, Ari Mark S', Wang Zhiliang, Wei Tong, Lo Shih-Chun, Lu Mingyuan, Li Shichun, Namdas Ebinazar B, Mali Gregor, Cheetham Anthony K, Collins Sean M, Chen Vicki, Wang Lianzhou, Bennett Thomas D.
Liquid-phase sintering of lead halide perovskites and metal-organic framework glasses.
Science, 2021. doi: 10.1126/science.abf4460

Most Popular Now

Pfizer to provide U.S. government with 10 million …

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) today announced an agreement with the U.S. government to supply 10 million treatment courses of its investigational COVID-19 oral antiviral candid...

GSK and Vir Biotechnology announce United States g…

GlaxoSmithKline plc (LSE/NYSE: GSK) and Vir Biotechnology, Inc. (Nasdaq: VIR) announced US government contracts totalling approximately $1 billion[1] (USD) to purchase so...

Primary endpoint met in COMET-TAIL Phase III trial…

GlaxoSmithKline plc (LSE/NYSE: GSK) and Vir Biotechnology, Inc. (Vir) (Nasdaq: VIR) announced headline data from the randomised, multi-centre, open-label COMET-TAIL Phase...

Two billion doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccin…

AstraZeneca and its partners have released for supply two billion doses of their COVID-19 vaccine to more than 170 countries across every continent on the planet in the l...

Merck and Ridgeback's molnupiravir, an oral COVID-…

Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics announced that the United Kingdom Medicines and Healthcare products Re...

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine named one o…

The editors of Time announced that the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine has been selected as one of Time's Best Inventions of 2021. The vaccine, for which Johnson & ...

New target for COVID-19 vaccines identified

Next generation vaccines for COVID-19 should aim to induce an immune response against 'replication proteins', essential for the very earliest stages of the viral cycle, c...

Repurposing a familiar drug for COVID-19

For the past year and a half, the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to engulf the globe, fueled in part by novel variants and the uneven distribution of vaccines. Every day...

Safety concerns raised for neuroblastoma candidate…

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists looking for drugs to improve survival of children with high-risk neuroblastoma found a promising candidate in CX-5461. Th...

Pfizer and BioNTech receive expanded U.S. FDA emer…

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX) announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded the emergency use authorization (EUA) of a ...

'Dancing molecules' successfully repair severe spi…

Northwestern University researchers have developed a new injectable therapy that harnesses “dancing molecules” to reverse paralysis and repair tissue after severe spinal ...

A target for potential cancer drugs may, in fact, …

In recent years, much scientific effort and funding has focused on developing drugs that target an enzyme with the unwieldy name of Src homology 2-containing protein tyro...