Moat Biotechnology has reported initial, promising data from the Phase I clinical trial of an intranasal Covid-19 vaccine.

The trial is currently underway in Australia.

According to the trial results, the vaccine was found to be safe and well tolerated in the preliminary ascending dose cohorts. 

When the shot was administered as a booster to participants who had previously received an mRNA Covid-19 vaccine, robust mucosal and systemic neutralising antibody responses were reported.

A systemic Th1-skewed T cell response against the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was also seen in most of these participants. 

In order to calibrate dosing and boost subject exposure, the company plans to further assess the vaccine in the Phase I trial. 

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The company holds an exclusive patent licence from the Mayo Clinic for the new, second-generation, single-cycle adenovirus vaccine platform (SC-AdVax) for developing intranasal and oral vaccines. 

Such vaccines could induce and enhance mucosal and systemic immunity to treat infectious diseases such as Covid-19. 

Moat also opened a financing round to raise up to $20m. Lead investor Cortado Ventures made the initial investment. 

This funding will aid in expanding the Phase I trial of an intranasal Covid-19 booster underway and commence the second and third SC-AdVax vaccines’ development for other mucosal pathogens. 

Moat Biotechnology president, COO and co-founder Russell Rother said: “Respiratory viruses like SARS-CoV-2 enter through the nasal passages, and if the viruses are encountered there, then we can significantly reduce their ability to replicate systemically within the body, where more serious viral morbidities occur. 

“Our initial Phase I trial results have demonstrated not only a strong mucosal immune response but also a strong systemic response in a majority of treated subjects.”