Good news for anyone afraid of needles: Canadian researchers are developing an orally deliverable COVID-19 vaccine.
A collaboration between Rapid Dose Therapeutics and McMaster University, QuickStrip™ technology works akin to a dissolvable breath strip.
When placed on the inside of the cheek or under the tongue, a study found that the strips effectively deliver proteins to the bloodstream, eliciting an immune response.
Researchers found that the proteins within QuickStrip™ remain stable at 40°C, doing away with the need for refrigeration that leading COVID-19 vaccines require.
The technology could revolutionize the global delivery of vaccines for COVID-19 and countless other diseases.
“The vast majority of the world struggles with obtaining and distributing needle-based therapies, which we are witnessing in real time with the currently-available COVID-19 vaccines,” said Jason Lewis, senior vice president of Rapid Dose Therapeutics.
QuickStrip™ doesn’t require cold-chain storage or highly-trained personnel, come at a high cost, or play into the fear of needles. All factors, Lewis said, that can prolong the pandemic.
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Rapid Dose Therapeutics and McMaster University began their research in July 2020, and wrapped up the first stage of their study last month.
The second stage includes real COVID-19 spike proteins, provided by the National Research Council of Canada.
Researchers will now infuse the QuickStrips™ with spike proteins in the hopes of generating an immune response to COVID-19.
Mark Upsdell, CEO of Rapid Dose Therapeutics, said preliminary results are expected within a few months, at which point the company will begin the commercialization process.
Dr. Mark Larché, the study’s head immunologist, said preclinical results and data “support the promise” that the QuickStrip™ can deliver therapeutics.
“Including vaccines to potentially protect against SARS-CoV-2.”