Many people know of the “patch” as a way to battle nicotine addiction.
Now, UC Davis is testing a similar technique to deliver a vaccine for COVID-19.
Verndari’s VaxiPatch is a single-dose vaccination kit that uses a dermal patch with a metal microneedle array to deliver vaccines.
The biopharmaceutical company states that “the technology eliminates the need for refrigeration, facilitates high-volume, automated manufacturing of vaccines and can potentially be self-administered on the subject’s arm.”
Verndari’s chief executive officer, Daniel R. Henderson, says, “Our new approach and previous work enabled us to quickly bring a potential vaccine against COVID-19 to preclinical testing. UC Davis provides a world-class forum for testing, with leading researchers and a full spectrum of supporting capabilities.”
Mouse Biology Program
Pre-clinical testing of the immune response to the vaccine began May 1 at the UC Davis Mouse Biology Program. Researchers there amended an existing protocol for influenza to test a COVID-19 vaccine in rats.
Kristin Grimsrud is a veterinarian and lead scientist at the Mouse Biology Program. She says, “Due to the impressive campus-wide effort to accelerate essential COVID-19 research, we were able to get approval on the amended protocol in less than 72 hours, allowing us to focus on SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.”
Verndari is also in discussions with the California National Primate Research Center at UC Davis to conduct further testing in rhesus macaques, a powerful animal model for COVID-19.
If the pre-clinical testing meets safety and efficacy goals, Phase 1 human clinical trials could begin.