"A French nasal vaccine against COVID-19 blocking all contagiousness and effective against variants".
To begin with, and since June 2020, the BioMAP research team of the UMR University of Tours – INRAE Infectiology and Public Health is engaged in the development of a nasal vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It is supported in its research by several INRAE units and academic partners. Thus, this vaccine is being developed in a 100% French ecosystem.
Subsequently, the development of this nasal protein vaccine is taking a new step forward. Indeed, the ANRS Emerging Infectious Diseases is officially supporting the French start-up LoValTech. Moreover, the company received the Deeptech label by BPI France.
To accelerate the development of the project and to consolidate the investment announcements, LoValTech now holds an exclusive worldwide license for the vaccine patent. This license is granted by the University of Tours and INRAE. The objective of this license is to manage the project from its development phases to human trials. In the long term, the goal is to obtain market authorization for the candidate vaccine, ideally in 2024.
This project relies on regional and national partners, industries and health actors. And, under cover of respecting a tight schedule and sufficient external investments, it clearly bears the hope of a return to pre-pandemic life.
LoValTech project steps:
Pre-clinical laboratory tests have demonstrated the efficacy of the candidate vaccine after two nasal immunizations 3 weeks apart, both in terms of protective immune response and early neutralization of the original virus and its variants, blocking any risk of contamination by a infected vaccinated individual.
End of 2021: new pre-clinical trials on rodents validate the efficacy of the vaccine against the Delta variant. The vaccine, made up of the Spike protein and viral proteins not subject to mutation, would therefore be protective regardless of the viral mutations and the circulating strain of coronavirus.
2021: Grant of €1.5 million has been allocated by the MESRI (Ministry for Higher Education, Research and Innovation) to the project delivered through the University of Tours.
2022: support from the French Agency for Research on AIDS and Emerging infectious diseases (ANRS-MIE) up to €900,000.
These 2 grants were awarded for the development and production of our vaccine in a GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) environment, mandatory for use in humans in the context of clinical phases.