India’s Premas Biotech to develop COVID-19 Vaccine pill

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India’s Premas Biotech has collaborated with Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. to develop an oral COVID-19 vaccine candidate that has shown efficacy after a single dose.

A preliminary test of the vaccine candidate in animals showed that the vaccine produced the desired antibodies. However, the product is still far from being tested on humans. 

Premas Biotech is a developer of novel biotherapeutic and vaccine candidates. 

When are the human trials likely to start?

According to the company, it fully depends on how the current tests fare. If they are successful then the vaccine candidate could be ready for human trials within the next three months.

The clinical study is expected to start during the second quarter of 2021.

More About the Oral COVID-19 vaccine

•The nascent COVID-19 vaccine candidate is a protein-based VLP (Virus Like Particle) vaccine candidate.

•It is capable of generating “triple protection” against the SARS CoV-2 virus. It can target the spike, membrane and envelope proteins of the coronavirus. Most other vaccines are based on spike (S) protein.   

•It promotes both systemic immunity through Immunoglobulin G (IgG), the most common antibody in blood and bodily fluids that protects against viral infections, and Immunoglobulin A (IgA).

•All three proteins are vital to the structure of the coronavirus and give it the ability to replicate inside the body. 

Is it effective?

Oravax said in a statement that the vaccine candidate is safe, efficacious and well-tolerated at normal to high doses and generated high titres of neutralising antibodies.

The company also added saying that the protein-based VLP (Virus-Like Particle) vaccine candidate is manufactured using Premas’ proprietary D-Crypt™ platform, which is highly scalable and can be manufactured on a large scale.

How will it work?

Premas Biotech Co-founder and Managing Director Prabuddha Kundu said that it would be like taking a vitamin pill.

Background

Two vaccines are currently available across India for those above 45 years with comorbidities and those above 60 years. Several others are in different stages of clinical trials.

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