Oramed Pharmaceuticals (NSDQ:ORMP) announced today that it is forming a joint venture to develop novel oral COVID-19 vaccines.
New York-based Oramed entered into definitive agreements to form Oravax Medical, which is based on Oramed’s proprietary POD (protein oral delivery) technology and Premas Biotech’s novel vaccine technology, according to a news release.
Oravax’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate is a virus-like particle (VLP) triple antigen vaccine designed to target three structural proteins, which Oramed says makes it an optimal candidate for protection against emerging variants of the virus. Additionally, the delivery of the vaccine through oral means could allow for widescale inoculation and easier distribution of the vaccine without the requirement of an injection.
A pilot animal study revealed that the oral COVID-19 vaccine candidate promoted systemic immunity through IgG antibodies, as well as IgA. Oravax plans to begin a clinical study during the second quarter of 2021.
“An oral COVID-19 vaccine would eliminate several barriers to rapid, widescale distribution, potentially enabling people to take the vaccine themselves at home,” Oramed CEO Nadav Kidron said in the release. “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.”