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New oral Covid-19 vaccine candidate 'produces antibodies after a single dose'


Premas Biotech, an Indian developer of novel biotherapeutic and vaccine candidates, on Tuesday announced the development of an oral Covid-19 vaccine that has shown efficacy after a single dose, in conjunction with Nasdaq-listed Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc.

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Accelerating the vaccine’s path to market, Premas, Oramed and other shareholders have formed Oravax Medical Inc, which has received exclusive licences from Oramed and Premas to develop oral Covid-19 vaccines.

After a single dose of the Oravax Covid-19 capsule, efficacy was evident through antibody production in a pilot animal study.

Oravax’s vaccine promoted both systemic immunity through Immunoglobulin G (IgG), the most common antibody in blood and bodily fluids that protects against viral infections, and Immunoglobulin A (IgA) which protects the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts against infection.

Premas’ protein-based VLP (virus-like particle) vaccine candidate creates triple protection against the Sars CoV-2 virus Spike, Membrane, and Envelope targets, the company said.

The vaccine candidate is also safe, efficacious and well tolerated at normal to high doses, and generated high titres of neutralising antibodies. The VLP is manufactured using Premas’ proprietary D-Crypt platform, which is highly scalable and can be manufactured on large scales.

Premas Biotech co-founder and managing director, Dr. Prabuddha Kundu, said: “An oral Covid-19 vaccine that harnesses and combines the true potential of the two platforms, Premas’ D-Crypt technology platform with Oramed’s world-leading oral protein delivery platform POD, is an excellent example of a true collaboration and can rapidly advance into late-stage clinical trials.

"Oramed’s experience and success in conducting Phase 2 and 3 oral protein trials positions our programme very favourably in the race to find an effective oral Covid-19 vaccine that can be administered by anyone anywhere. We are looking forward to sharing clinical data soon.”

“We are very excited about our oral vaccine candidate’s potential to help end the pandemic,” said Nadav Kidron, CEO of Oramed.

“An oral Covid-19 vaccine would eliminate several barriers to rapid, widescale distribution, enabling people to take the vaccine themselves at home. While ease of administration is critical today to accelerate inoculation rates, an oral vaccine could become even more valuable in the likely case that a Covid-19 vaccine may be required annually or biannually like the standard flu shot,” Kidron said.

Published : March 23, 2021

By : THE NATION