Switzerland will test COVID vaccine on a skin patch

The new vaccine will be given through the skin through a patch with microscopic needles that release the product in seconds. Keystone / Alexandra Wei

A British biotech company will begin clinical trials in Switzerland of a skin patch vaccine against COVID-19 that uses T cells and could provide longer-lasting immunity than current vaccines.

This content was published on November 17, 2021 – 11:40

The Guardian / swissinfo / sb

Emergex adExternal link It received the green light this week from the Swiss Medicines Regulatory Authority for preliminary human trials, starting January 3, 2022 in Lausanne.

The skin patch vaccine uses T cells, a group of immune cells that can quickly attack and destroy infected cells, thus preventing the replication of the virus and disease.

“This is the first time that a medical regulator has approved a COVID vaccine to begin clinical trials whose sole objective is to generate a T-cell response if the antibody does not respond, and these T cells seek out and destroy infected cells,” Emergex Commercial Director Robin Cohen explained to the paper. British WatchmanExternal link.

Current COVID-19 vaccines primarily generate an antibody response that declines over time, meaning that people need booster shots to maintain protection from the virus.

The Emergex vaccine works differently, quickly destroying infected cells. This means it could provide long-lasting immunity, possibly decades, Cohen said, and could also be more effective at fighting mutations in the virus.

The trial will be led by Blaise Genton, a professor in the Center for Primary Care and Public Health at the University of Lausanne.

“This exciting new scientific approach to developing a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine addresses the need to generate a T-cell response for long-lasting immunity,” he noted.

In total, 26 people will receive both high and low doses of the experimental COVID-19 vaccine. Provisional results of the trial are expected in June.

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