Iowa State researchers are closing in on a new kind of COVID-19 vaccine.
Pfizer and Moderna are both first generation COVID-19 vaccines.
“They’re going to help us get through the pandemic, at least in terms of getting off the ground, getting back to some sort of normalcy, but they’re not perfect,” said Balaji Narasimhan, director of Nanovaccine Institute.
That’s why when COVID-19 hit the U.S., the Nanovaccine Institute at ISU shifted their focus from the flu. What they’re developing is to solve the limitations of today’s coronavirus vaccine.
Unlike other coronavirus vaccines, the nanovaccine under development at the Iowa State University lab will be needle-free, it’ll be one dose and it won’t need refrigeration.
“I can take the nanovaccine vial, put it on a shelf in front of me, come back in a year, pick it up and it’ll still work,” Narasimhan said.
With the help of $2 million in federal CARES Act funding, they’re collaborating with researchers at other institutions to create a vaccine you can sniff.
“Our hope is for those clinical trials to begin some time in the next 12 months, and once those clinical trials are complete, then we would be able to have a product,” Narasimhan said.
Researchers say advances in nanotechnology and medicine will formulate a treatment that will ultimately transform human life.
“This is why we wake up and come to work every morning, right, is for the opportunity to do things that can help save lives, that can help better humanity,” Narasimhan said.
Researchers say, assuming all goes as planned, the COVID-19 nanovaccine is about a year and a half out.
—Tommie Clark, KCCI.com, 12/28/20