University of Waterloo researchers are working on a coronavirus vaccine that can be taken as a nasal spray. It is meant to immunize and treat the virus, according to CTV News. The research still requires a large amount of testing and has yet to be peer-reviewed.
In a news release, the university noted that the vaccine will use a process called bacteriophage, which lets the vaccine replicate in the body's bacteria.
School of pharmacy professor Roderick Slavcev, who designs vaccines says that the nasal spray will provide “nanomedicine engineered to immunize and decrease COVID-19 infections” when it is complete.
According to the school, the vaccine will build immunity to the virus and also decrease its severity.
The DNA based vaccine works by producing a VLP or virus-like particle after entering cells. The virus will look similar to SARS-CoV-2—which causes coronavirus—but completely harmless. It is expected to spark an immune response after this.
The vaccine will also latch onto the receptors the virus usually does and leave behind less room for transmission.
Creating the vaccine is a tough process and two other teams are working on it as well.
Slavcev has joined together with Dr. Emmanuel Ho, a School of Pharmacy Professor and Marc Aucoin, a chemical engineering professor.
The nanomedication that the spray will deliver is being designed by Ho’s team while the VLP is being made by Aucoin’s team.
“It is the collaborative effort of our talented teams that makes this multidisciplinary project so feasible and necessarily efficient as a potential universal vaccine solution against SARS-CoV infections,” Slavcev said in a news release.
“To practice science with such urgency alongside such talented colleagues and their students is not only immensely educational, it is extremely rewarding.”