Canadian researchers are developing an edible COVID-19 vaccine

Jul 11 2021, 2:44 pm

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.

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.”

Zoe DemarcoZoe Demarco

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