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The European consortium to develop nasal vaccines NOSEVAC takes stock and sets challenges

  • The USC CiMUS groups led by Noémi Csaba and María José Alonso, promoters of the consortium, bring together about 50 experts at the research center to draw up their roadmap until 2028.
  • The project proposes innovative approaches to avoid highly prevalent respiratory infections and combat these diseases early.
  • The consortium has the collaboration of unique teams from six countries of the European Union, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.

Bacterial and viral respiratory infections contribute significantly to overall morbidity and mortality. Pathogens that cause diseases such as whooping cough, pneumonia, influenza or COVID-19 have important implications for public health. To combat this problem from the early stages of infection, the European NOSEVAC consortium has been working since last year, in which the USC CiMUS actively participates through the groups led by Noémi Csaba and María José Alonso.

On April 23 and 24, it will meet at CiMUS to share progress and open strategies and new challenges. Fifty specialists will share different related aspects, such as: ethical and psychological issues of nasal vaccination, how to prepare for a pandemic, preclinical evaluation of animal models, formulation of nano-vaccines (and the USC experience in this field ), respiratory tract immunity through vaccines or mathematical modeling of bioprocesses involved in this area.

Until 2028, the consortium will work to create combined nasal vaccines, aimed at the most aggressive respiratory infections caused by bacteria, in addition to developing bivalent nasal vaccines to prevent COVID-19 and influenza. “So far, the vaccines available against these diseases are administered by intramuscular or subcutaneous injection and do not effectively prevent colonization of the upper respiratory tract,” explains USC CiMUS researcher Noémi Csaba. Consequently, its impact on pathogen transmission is limited.




Prevent disease from the source

The NOSEVAC consortium, coordinated by the European Vaccine Initiative (EVI), is working on the design and evaluation of nasal vaccine platforms as an innovative approach to prevent the earliest stage of infection, thus inhibiting colonization, transmission and respiratory tract disease superior. The project is based on a collaborative team made up of 12 partners and made up of unique research groups from public-private entities and biotechnology companies from the European Union, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.

The project contemplates the development of the following candidates for new nasal vaccines:
* Develop vaccine formulations for nasal administration of RNA- and protein-based antigens
* Discover bacterial antigens that favor the colonization of the respiratory epithelium
* Identify the immune factors of the human host to generate long-term protection against bacteria or viruses
*Address the acceptability of nasal vaccination in the general population


Influence political decisions

NOSEVAC, which has funding of just over 11 million euros (almost seven of them from the EU), plans to establish strategic research avenues to combat respiratory pathogens, covering those with the potential for large outbreaks. "In addition, concludes the USC CiMUS researcher, the organization will serve as a catalyst for decision-making based on scientific evidence, both for addressing political measures and for investment groups that can finance the costs of these new therapeutic strategies."

EU Consortium NOSEVAC gathering at CiMUS



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