Altimmune Partners With Coldstream-based Summit Biosciences to Develop Intranasal COVID-19 Vaccine
Summit Biosciences, a high-tech company based on the University of Kentucky’s Coldstream Research Campus, has been selected by Altimmune Inc. to further develop Altimmune’s intranasal COVID-19 vaccine.
Altimmune is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing intranasal vaccines. As part of the partnership, Summit Biosciences — a worldwide leader in developing nasal spray pharmaceuticals — will manufacture a multidose nasal spray presentation of AdCOVID, Altimmune’s intranasal COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
“I am pleased that Altimmune, a recognized leader in intranasal vaccine development, selected Summit in this exciting endeavor,” said Gregory Plucinski, president and COO of Summit Biosciences. “Summit has a proven track record in bringing nasal spray medicines from concept to market with its state-of-the-art capabilities that are ideal for this program. Together, we will combine our respective expertise and capabilities with the goal of ultimately introducing a potentially novel, needle-free, nasal spray vaccine for the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.”
While traditional vaccines delivered by an intramuscular injection can stimulate systemic immunity as measured in the blood, they have not been shown to induce mucosal immunity in the nasal cavity, which may be critical for blocking transmission of the virus. AdCOVID is designed to deliver vaccine directly to the site of viral entry and replication to stimulate mucosal and cellular immunity in the nasal cavity and respiratory tract, thereby potentially offering an important early defense against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
AdCOVID is currently being evaluated in a phase 1 clinical trial of healthy adult volunteers between the ages of 18 and 55. Subjects will receive AdCOVID at one of three dose levels administered as a nasal spray. Altimmune anticipates having early data from this trial within the next few months.
“As we continue to build our manufacturing consortium and progress the development of AdCOVID, we are pleased to partner with Summit Biosciences to manufacture AdCOVID in a customized multidose nasal spray delivery device,” said Vipin K. Garg, president and CEO of Altimmune. “We expect this device may be a convenient and efficient option when vaccinating patients in high-demand settings where our vaccine candidate’s anticipated room temperature stability profile will also be important. In addition, Altimmune will continue to produce a single dose presentation of AdCOVID to provide alternative forms of administration. Summit Biosciences has expertise in intranasal product innovation, and we are excited to align with their highly experienced team in our fight against COVID-19.”
“Summit Biosciences is a great model of how to grow a high-tech company in the Lexington area,” said George Ward, executive director of the UK Coldstream Research Campus. “We appreciate the hard work that Greg Plucinski and his team have done to expand their business and the company’s practice of hiring UK graduates and alums.”