Altimmune expands COVID-19 vaccine collaboration with Lonza

The company predicts the vaccine could provide immunity of up to a year or more following a single dose with the potential for a favourable tolerability profile

Altimmune has expanded its previously-announced AdCOVID manufacturing collaboration with Lonza. Under the updated agreement, Lonza will commission a manufacturing suite for production of AdCOVID, Altimmune’s single-dose intranasal vaccine candidate for COVID-19, at its facility near Houston, Texas.

The vaccine is administered via nasal spray. In preclinical studies, it was reportedly shown to activate systemic immunity (neutralising antibodies and T cell responses) and mucosal immunity in the respiratory tract. Activation of mucosal immunity may prevent both virus infection and transmission. In preclinical studies, the candidate stimulated a 29-fold increase in mucosal IgA, well above the level associated with protection in clinical studies of influenza, Altimmune.

The company predicts the vaccine could provide immunity of up to a year or more following a single dose with the potential for a favourable tolerability profile. Based on data from Altimmune’s other intranasal vaccine candidates, AdCOVID is expected to be shipped without cold chain logistics, the company claims, permitting common refrigerated storage at community-based vaccination centres without the need for specialised freezer storage.

Dr Vyjayanthi Krishnan, VP of Product Development, Altimmune, said: “Manufacturing capacity for COVID-19 vaccines has been severely constrained, and this limitation has presented considerable challenges for vaccine developers. By expanding our Lonza collaboration and commissioning our own dedicated manufacturing suite, we are building extra capacity and redundancy into our manufacturing to support potential late-stage clinical trials with AdCOVID and potential future commercial supply. Lonza continues to be an outstanding partner in this mission, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to further our relationship with this world class team.”

Alberto Santagostino, SVP, Head of Cell and Gene Technologies, Lonza, said: “Altimmune’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate could be a complete game-changer in the fight against COVID-19. Our reinforced commitment is to enable the team at Altimmune to scale-up production as needed and deliver vaccines at a global scale when ready.”

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