An Israeli company is preparing to launch a Phase I clinical trial in multiple countries, including the United States, Israel, Europe, and Mexico, for what could become the world’s first oral COVID-19 vaccine, reports
The Jerusalem Post.
Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc., a pharmaceutical company, announced over the weekend a joint venture with Premas Biotech to develop a novel oral vaccine based on Oramed’s “POD” oral delivery technology and Premas’s vaccine technology. It can be used to orally administer several protein-based therapies, which would otherwise be delivered by injection.
“An oral COVID-19 vaccine would eliminate several barriers to rapid, wide-scale distribution, potentially enabling people to take the vaccine themselves at home,” Oramed CEO Nadav Kidron said. “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.”
The advantages of an oral vaccine go beyond safety and efficacy, Kidron added. He said that oral medications tend to have fewer side effects.
Besides, the vaccine can be shipped at refrigerator temperatures and even stored at room temperature, “making it logistically easier to get it anywhere around the world,” Kidron said. An oral vaccine would also not need professional administration.
Orava anticipates commencing a clinical study during the second quarter of 2021. Kidron said that it is applying for trials in multiple countries, including the United States, Israel, Europe, and Mexico. It also hopes to target Africa, where such an oral vaccine could prove essential.
Kidron said he expects Phase I human trial data to be available within three months.
Source: The Jerusalem Post