Scancell chooses needle-free tech for Covid vaccine candidates
Cancer and infectious disease immunotherapy developer Scancell has selected the PharmaJet needle-free injection system to administer its two SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates for Covid-19, ‘SCOV1’ and ‘SCOV2’, in its ‘COVIDITY’ phase 1 clinical trial, it announced on Tuesday.
The AIM-traded firm said SCOV1 and SCOV2 would be administered either via an intradermal injection using the PharmaJet ‘Tropis’ needle-free system, or via intramuscular delivery using the PharmaJet ‘Stratis’ system.
It said the Stratis system had United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 510k marketing clearance, CE-marking, and World Health Organization (WHO) performance, quality and safety (PQS) certification to deliver medications and vaccines either intramuscularly or subcutaneously.
The Tropis system, meanwhile, had CE-marking and WHO PQS certification for intradermal injections, with Scancell saying the PharmaJet systems were the “first and only” needle-free devices pre-qualified by the WHO.
As it announced on 29 July, the company's COVIDITY-001 study, including the use of the two PharmaJet injectors, had been approved by the South African regulatory authority.
The COVIDITY programme was a collaboration between Scancell and scientists in the newly-established Centre for Research on Global Virus Infections and the new Biodiscovery Institute at the University of Nottingham, and Nottingham Trent University, with the programme receiving funding from Innovate UK.
Needle-free injectors use a narrow stream of fluid to penetrate the skin, delivering vaccines and other pharmaceuticals to the required tissue depth.
Both the PharmaJet systems had been clinically proven with a “wide range” of vaccines, including the delivery of DNA products.
The injection systems were described by Scancell as “easy to use”, eliminating needlestick injuries, and with the potential to expand vaccine coverage to subjects with a fear of needles.
Scancell's preclinical studies had confirmed that PharmaJet delivery of its COVIDITY vaccines induced potent immune responses against both S and N antigens.
“Our preclinical studies have shown that delivery of SCOV1 and SCOV2 with the PharmaJet needle-free systems generate excellent T cell and antibody responses,” said chief executive officer Lindy Durrant.
“In addition, they are easy to use and ideal for people who are needle phobic, an important cause of vaccine hesitancy.
“We look forward to progressing our COVIDITY-001 study in South Africa and updating the market in due course.”
At 1505 BST, shares in Scancell Holdings were down 1.79% at 20.33p.