Wantai's nasal spray COVID-19 vaccine to begin mid-stage trial in China

BEIJING, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise Co Ltd plans to start a mid-stage clinical trial this month of a nasal spray coronavirus vaccine in China, clinical trial registry data showed.

An alternative to the common injection in the arm, the spray vaccine can trigger specific immune responses in airways by mimicking the natural infection of a respiratory virus, its researchers have said.

A Phase 2 study involving 720 participants, run by a city-level disease control and prevention centre in the eastern province of Jiangsu, will take place from Nov. 17, showed a record in the Chinese Clinical Trail Registry dated Friday.

The trial will see the vaccine given at two- or three-week intervals, and will test its safety and ability to elicit immune responses, showed the registry record.

The candidate uses a weakened influenza virus to ferry the genetic snippet of the new coronavirus’ protein. The Phase 2 study will also evaluate how pre-existing antibodies against a specific type of flu virus in healthy people affect the vaccine.

Beijing Wantai did not immediately response to a Reuters request for comment.

Researchers in Britain are also studying inhaled versions of COVID-19 vaccine candidates to see if they deliver a localised immune response in the respiratory tract. (Reporting by Roxanne Liu and Tony Munroe; Editing by Christopher Cushing)