Late in 2021, Aerogen (Galway, Ireland) and CanSinoBIO (SSE: 688185, HKEX: 06185) (Tianjin, China) announced a development and commercial supply partnership for the inhaled delivery of CanSinoBIO’s Recombinant Novel Coronavirus Vaccine Convidecia Air utilizing Aerogen’s proprietary aerosol drug delivery technology.

In 2022 Convidecia Air was granted Emergency Use Authorization as a booster dose by the National Medical Products Administration of China (“NMPA”). On October 25, Shanghai became the first city to initiate booster vaccination by inhalation for adults aged 18 and above, who have previously been primed with two shots of inactivated vaccines or one shot of Convidecia.

The aerosolised vaccine is directly inhaled via a cup dispenser into the patient’s airway. This route mimics the natural infection pathway of the respiratory virus COVID-19 and may create additional benefits through generating mucosal immunity. According to Phase III clinical trial published in December 2021 in the journal The Lancet, the injected Convidecia vaccine was 91.7% effective at preventing severe disease after four weeks or longer following a single administered dose.

Further clinical trials on delivery by inhalation, published in the Lancet in December 2021 and August 2022, demonstrated the inhaled vaccine Convidecia Air as a heterologous booster generated much stronger immune responses than those induced by a homologous inactivated vaccine booster. Convidecia Air has proven to be an innovative solution that provides safe and effective protection for people through a needle-free, painless and non-invasive delivery without any serious adverse events observed.

Inoculation by the inhaled aerosol route requires a considerably smaller volume of vaccine to be used and therefore provides the capacity to allow a much larger number of patients to cost-effectively access the CanSinoBIO vaccine than would have been possible using an injectable approach. Further clinical trials of the inhaled vaccine are progressing in Asia and Latin America to support other country approvals for this innovate technology.

John Power, Aerogen CEO & Founder said “The world has an urgent need for an effective, low cost, globally scalable and globally accessible solution to mass vaccination. The pioneering development undertaken by Aerogen and CanSino has resulted in a system that meets all these requirements and with a capacity to vaccinate in the billions. We are delighted with the news of approval and public rollout in China and look forward further approval of inhaled vaccines around the world.”

Dr. Xuefeng YU, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CanSinoBIO commented; “We are delighted that our collaborative efforts with Aerogen on the innovative inhaled delivery of COVID-19 vaccine is recognized by the market. This significant breakthrough in vaccination has the potential of blocking transmission through an added layer of mucosal immunity. We look forward to expanding the global access to our innovative needle-less vaccine to accelerate the pace of bringing the society back to life.”

Leo Clancy, CEO, Enterprise Ireland said: “Aerogen has an exceptional track record, delivering game changing disruptive technology to the largest pharma companies in the world to optimize and accelerate the development and production of medicines, including vaccines. The innovative technologies pursued by the company continue to push boundaries and transform treatments, in this case with respect to COVID-19, positively impacting the wellbeing of people worldwide. Today’s announcement is hugely significant and further strengthens Ireland’s position in the global value chain of vaccine development and manufacturing. We look forward to continuing to work with Aerogen as it continues to transform product offering for healthcare through innovation, underpinning the company’s continued growth in world markets.”