Israel gears up to be the first country to test the first ever oral COVID-19 vaccine in the world by Oravax Medical.
CEO of Oravax Medical’s parent company Oramed Pharmaceuticals, Navad Kidron announced that the company is currently preparing for the clinical tests at Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv after getting approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, Israel.
They are now waiting for approval from the Health Ministry which they expect in a few weeks.
The oral vaccine is said to be based on Oramed’s “POD” (Protein Oral Delivery) vaccine technology. Protein-based therapies which would usually be injected are now made to be oral intakes with the use of their technology.
It was formed by Jerusalem’s Hadassah-University Medical Center in a joint venture with India-based Premas Biotech. It can be used both as a standalone vaccine and as a booster for people who have been previously vaccinated for COVID-19.
Oramed claimed that their vaccine is also potentially effective against current and future variants of the COVID-19 virus due to the fact the Oravax owns the virus-like particle (VLP) technology which is geared to target the three SARS CoV-2 virus surface protein including less susceptible to mutation proteins.
Moreover, the vaccine is being tested in preclinical studies to go against the latest Delta variant as well. “Our vaccine is a particularly strong candidate against the evolving COVID-19 virus due to its unique targeting of three proteins rather than one. With the Delta and other variants proving a challenge to health administrators globally, Oravax’s VLP technology could prove even more important in the effort to combat COVID,” said Kidron in a press release.
They will also be manufacturing injectable versions of the vaccine, “Oravax’s VLP platform technology can be delivered either via injection or orally. Because Oravax is focused on oral vaccines, we saw a clear benefit to out-licensing rights to the injectable version in India, where there is an urgent need for vaccines,” he added.
Oramed also shared their plan of distributing the oral vaccine to countries that need them the most when approved claiming that the vaccine would give logistical, financial, and environmental benefits for the people.
They are geared up to commence clinical trials for their COVID-19 vaccine in international clinical sites right after the trials in Israel are done.