OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – An Oklahoma company hopes to get you the benefits of a COVID-19 vaccine – without the needles!

Moat Biotechnology is working on an intranasal vaccine that could prove very effective in fighting the virus. 

Leaders at the biotechnology company say trials are underway right now in Australia – with its roots right here in Oklahoma.

“It’s an Oklahoma company primarily funded by Oklahoma individuals,” said Russell Rother, President & CEO of Moat Biotechnology. “So I think it’s a it’s a feather in the hat for Oklahoma.” 

Rother and Scott Rollins are the leaders of Moat Biotechnology – a company focused entirely on developing vaccines for infectious diseases, including COVID. 

atomizer that creates vaccine mist
Courtesy: Moat Biotechnology

Right now, they have the patent license from the Mayo Clinic to develop a needle-free vaccine that’s administered through the nose, similar to a nasal spray. 

“A lot of people are afraid of needles,” Rollins said. “In terms of the distribution of the vaccine, it’s much easier to create the vaccine, to distribute it and to administer it to patients.” 

Rother says the other big advantage is it goes straight to where pathogens are first encountered by the immune system. 

“Then you can basically reduce the load of the virus or the bacteria prior to it going systemic and getting into the systemic system where most of the morbidities associated with viruses and other pathogens are,” Rother said. “The intranasal is a game-changer for vaccines if it’s successful.” 

The vaccine was given as a boost to participants in the study who were previously vaccinated with existing vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna.

It’s still early in the trials – currently in Phase 1.