KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One of the scientists researching how to deliver a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine via a nasal spray will be in Kansas City, Missouri, Thursday evening.
Satlzman and his team have for years studied how to deliver gene-editing agents into humans intranasally to treat cystic fibrosis. The research pivoted during the coronavirus pandemic. Now, the group of researchers is studying how to deliver a messenger RNA vaccine for COVID-19 via the same intranasal delivery system.
Ultimately, the group would like to develop a COVID vaccine the public could inhale in a kind of mist rather than receive through an injection - which is currently the only approved option in the United States. Saltzman’s team has created a private company called Xanadu Bio, to help finish the research and bring a product through the necessary governmental regulations.
Saltzman said the project has been extremely personal to this team.
“We’re all having so many personal experiences, not just with the virus itself, but with getting vaccines,” he pointed out. “Thinking about how to make it more easy to distribute around the world, how to make it easier for people to take, how to make it more effective — people are very excited about all that.”
Most intranasal vaccines for viruses like influenza use a live, but weakened, form of the virus. The solution from Saltzman’s team does not involve a live virus. It uses the same mRNA vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
Saltzman will lead a discussion at the Linda Hall Library Thursday evening. The lecture is free to attend, but registration is required. You can do so online. The lecture will also be available to stream online.
Saltzman says he uses research libraries like the Linda Hall Library throughout his work. He applauds libraries for sharing their catalogs online so researchers can access the information from anywhere.
During Thursday’s lecture, Saltzman plans to speak about his research, but is most excited about hearing from the audience.
“It's more fun to present to people with a more diverse mindset. I find I often get good ideas that are helpful in listening to how other people react to what we've been thinking about a lot,” the professor said.