JERUSALEM, Israel – An Israeli-American pharmaceutical company claims it is working on a coronavirus vaccine that can be taken at home in the form of an oral pill.
Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc., an Israeli company, announced over the weekend it is partnering with Premas Biotech to develop the world’s first oral coronavirus vaccine through their new company “Oravax Medical.”
The vaccine is “based on Oramed's proprietary POD™ oral delivery technology” and Premas Biotech’s “novel vaccine technology,” the company said in a statement.
The Oravax vaccine is designed to target three structural proteins on the virus, instead of the single spike protein targeted by Pfizer and Moderna. This could make the vaccine more effective in protecting against virus strains, the company claims.
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Unlike the current COVID-19 vaccines, Oravax’s oral vaccine would not need to be stored at below-freezing temperatures, making its distribution and accessibility easier.
A pilot study of the vaccine found that the oral COVID-19 vaccine promoted the production of antibodies in rats.
"An oral COVID-19 vaccine would eliminate several barriers to rapid, widescale distribution, potentially enabling people to take the vaccine themselves at home,” said Nadav Kidron, CEO of Oramed.
“While ease of administration is critical today to accelerate inoculation rates, an oral vaccine could become even more valuable in the case that a COVID-19 vaccine may be recommended annually like the standard flu shot.”
Oravax is preparing to begin a clinical study during the second quarter of 2021.
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