US-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical firm Altimmune has completed the design and synthesis of the single-dose, intranasal vaccine against COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Altimmune said that the vaccine has been designed using its original technology and is currently accelerating the vaccine development toward animal testing and manufacturing.

Altimmune president and chief executive officer Vipin K Garg said: “With the spread of COVID-19 outside of China, including the first case of unknown origin in the United States, we have taken action to develop and make our vaccine technology available to help address this crisis.

“We believe that our intranasal vaccine technology is especially well suited to provide systemic protection against respiratory infections that affect the upper and lower airways and can therefore be a useful tool in preventing further spread of COVID-19. As such, we are actively engaged in discussions with a number of potential partners.”

Altimmune will start the clinical testing of the vaccine in the August 2020

The company has developed the new intranasal vaccine of COVID-19, based on the same platform vaccine technology used for NasoVAX, an influenza vaccine candidate.

Similar to Altimmune’s NasoVAX, its new COVID-19 vaccine would also provide systemic immunity to the coronavirus, through a single intranasal dose.

The recent Phase 2 clinical trial on NasoVAX underlined the capability of intranasal vaccine delivery to stimulate a durable and broad immune response against the influenza virus, said the company.

According to the company, the clinical profile of NasoVAX is specifically relevant to COVID-19, since intranasal delivery directs the immune response to protect against respiratory infection. It is expected to start the clinical testing of the COVID-19 vaccine in August 2020.

Altimmune is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in developing treatments for liver disease, immune-modulating therapies and vaccines.

The company’s pipeline includes advanced peptide therapeutics for NASH (ALT-801) and chronic hepatitis B (HepTcell), conjugated immunostimulants for the treatment of cancer (ALT-702) and intranasal vaccines (NasoVAX and NasoShield).