Research development

Shionogi, hospital to research nasal COVID-19 vaccine development

Japanese pharmaceutical giant Shionogi & Co. said on Thursday it will establish a research center in April with Chiba University Hospital to work on developing a nasal spray vaccine for use against COVID-19 and other respiratory infections.

The headquarters of Japanese drugmaker Shionogi & Co. is pictured in Osaka on December 27, 2021. (Kyodo) == Kyodo

Under the partnership, the company and the university will work to rapidly develop a vaccine, with the goal of beginning clinical trials in fiscal year 2022 starting in April.

“We want to be able to respond to future pandemics through the use of nasal vaccines,” Shionogi Chairman Isao Teshirogi said at a press conference.

A nasal vaccine, which increases immunity to infections by strengthening the mucous membrane that lines the airways, would be ideal for developing countries that lack adequate healthcare facilities because it could be easily stored and transported, unlike many standard intramuscular vaccines.

Shionogi has developed an oral vaccine against COVID-19 and is expected to seek approval as early as next week following clinical trials that showed it was effective in reducing the novel coronavirus in the body.

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