In October 2022 CEPI and the Dutch vaccine developer Intravacc announced funding to for broad protection against variants of COVID-19 and other Betacoronaviruses. This is part of CEPI’s $200 million programme for broad protection vaccines.
CEPI announced that it will provide seed funding of “up to” $4.8 million to Intravacc, which is described as a “world leader in translational research and development of preventative and therapeutic vaccines”. It is hoped that this contribution will advance the development of an intranasal vaccine candidate.
Dr Richard Hatchett, the CEO of CEPI, thinks that the virus “still poses a seroius threat to a still fragile global recovery.” In order to “mitigate the need for regular variant boosters” he hopes to find a candidate that provides “broad protection”.
“Investing in, initiating the development of, and enabling equitable access to broadly protective coronavirus vaccines should be an integral part of the world’s long-term strategy out of the COVID-19 pandemic and defence against future threats.”
Intravacc’s subunit vaccine candidate is called Avacc 101 and is based on its Outer Membrane Vesicle (OMV) platform. It will be designed to offer “broad protection against SARS-CoV-1, SARS-CoV-2, and MERS-CoV”. Furthermore, the platform will enable “presentation of universal Spike molecules and will include ‘epitopes’ that can also elicit T-cell responses”.
The intranasal method of administration could help to provoke mucosal immunity, thus reducing person-to-person transmission. Dr Jan Groen is CEO of Intravcc and believes that this is the “real beginning of a new era” for intranasal vaccines.
“Teaming up with CEPi is a big step forward: from ‘best alone’ to ‘better together’. In this way, we can leverage Intravacc’s OMV platform for the vaccine the world so desperately needs.”
For more on novel COVID-19 vaccines come to the World Vaccine Congress in Europe 2022, where we will also hear more from a representative of Intravacc.