TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Tampa-based biotech company is working on developing a COVID-19 vaccine that would last much longer than a traditional vaccine.
Oragenics, which is headquartered in Tampa, and has labs just outside of Gainesville, is working on a vaccine and “developing a National Institutes of Health (“NIH”) created COVID-19 spike protein that produces a positive immune response potentially through a single dose,” according to the company.
“We are excited that the immunity generated from the spike protein in our COVID-19 vaccine could ultimately last years,” Alan Joslyn, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Oragenics said. “Ultimately that could mean people won’t need the vaccine every year, but rather periodically over their lifetime.”
The vaccine has the potential for single-dose therapy with minimal supply chain or cold temperature requirements that also confers long lasting immunity due to the type of adjuvant that is co-administered, according to a release.
The vaccine is already going through lab testing, and Oragenics reports that data showed inhibited virus growth in the nasal cavities and lungs of mice when compared to the unvaccinated control animals.
Dr. Joslyn told 8 On Your Side he hopes the vaccine will soon be able to enter smaller clinical trials.
“We’ve been working on creating the cell lines, manufacturing, talking with the FDA, and setting up the animal studies for that for the last year, and we’re ready to go,” he said.
The company is also working alternative methods to administer the shot, such as a nasal spray, or a patch.
“The populations that we’re after are some of those vulnerable populations, or populations of people that just don’t like needles, live in remote areas, and children,” Dr. Joslyn said.
Dr. Joslyn said the goal is to have FDA approval as soon as 2022, early 2023.