Israeli Firm Trial Testing Orally Administered COVID-19 Vaccine

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Oral Vaccine

An Israeli biotech has developed an investigational, proprietary protein oral delivery (POD™) technology in the development of oral vaccines that are now only available via an imposing injection.

Called Oravax, the parent company Oramed reports that the exclusive owner of a virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine technology that targets three SARS-CoV-2 virus surface proteins, including proteins less susceptible to mutation, making the vaccine potentially more effective against current and future variants of the COVID-19 virus. The VLP vaccine has been in the preclinical research process against COVID-19 variants, including the Delta variant. Oravax’s VLP vaccine technology is purportedly highly scalable with a low cost of goods and easily transferable.

The Clinical Trial

Now Oravax, again part of Oramed, gears up to commence clinical trials for its oral COVID-19 vaccine, first in Israel and then in additional clinical trial sites around the world. The study protocol has been approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, Israel, and is now pending approval from the Israeli Ministry of Health.   Additionally, the company has commenced GMP manufacturing of the oral vaccine for research purposes.

Background

This oral VLP COVID-19 vaccine is being developed for use both as a standalone vaccine as well as a booster for people who have been previously vaccinated for COVID-19. Experts including at the World Health Organization expect booster shots will be needed for both general and at-risk populations. Although, recently, WHO was on record that the time for boosters was not now.

If successful, an oral vaccine would offer enormous logistical, financial, and environmental benefits for the billions of people slated to receive them, particularly in parts of the world where access to healthcare is limited.  

“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 Nadav Kidron, CEO of Oramed.

Oravax Holdings

Oramed is currently evaluating several options with respect to its interest in Oravax, including distributing a portion of its holdings to its shareholders. Subject to applicable law, Oramed will keep shareholders advised of developments.

Premas to Develop and Commercialize VLP Injectable Technology in India  

Oravax, the exclusive owner of the VLP technology, has out-licensed certain rights in the territory of India to Premas Biotech, the original developer of the novel vaccine. As Oravax maintains its focus on oral vaccines, it has licensed to Premas the right to develop an injectable version of its VLP technology with an aim to address the urgent need for a vaccine which is effective against the Delta variant. Oravax is entitled to royalties upon commercialization of this vaccine in India. 

“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,” Kidron added.

Premas plans to manufacture, test, and potentially commercialize the injectable version of the VLP vaccine in India where the COVID-19 vaccine market is anticipated to grow to over $2.3 billion by 2027. India is currently in a race to speed up the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations for its population of 1.4 billion as the country’s death toll from the pandemic has topped 400,000 with 31 million cases.

About Oravax Medical Inc.

Oravax was established in 2021 by Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc., the largest shareholder in Oravax, along with Premas Biotech and certain other shareholders with a mission to bring an oral COVID-19 vaccine to the market. Oravax combines cutting-edge vaccine technology acquired from Premas Biotech and the proprietary POD™ oral delivery technology of Oramed Pharmaceuticals. For more information, please visit 

About Oramed Pharmaceuticals

Oramed Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq/TASE: ORMP) is a platform technology pioneer in the field of oral delivery solutions for drugs currently delivered via injection. Established in 2006, with offices in the United States and Israel, Oramed has developed a novel Protein Oral Delivery (POD™) technology. Oramed is seeking to transform the treatment of diabetes through its proprietary lead candidate, ORMD-0801, which is being evaluated in two pivotal Phase 3 studies and has the potential to be the first commercial oral insulin capsulefor the treatment of diabetes. In addition, Oramed is developing an oral GLP-1 (Glucagon-like peptide-1) analog capsule.

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