Premas Biotech (India) and Oramed (Israel) collaborate to create COVID-19 oral vaccine

An Israeli-Indian joint venture is said to have created an oral vaccine. It is swallowed orally like a pill instead of the usual injection for COVID-19. A pilot test in animals indicated that the vaccine prevented the anticipated antibodies that confer safety. But, the results have not yet appeared in a scientific publication and cannot be confirmed independently.

Where human trials are concerned, testing for the product is also far; however, the firm promoters indicated that depending on the tests’ outcomes, in the coming three months, the vaccine might be set for human trials.

Oramed Pharmaceuticals, a firm with headquarters in Jerusalem and a biotechnology company based in Gurugram, Premas Biotech, have joined forces for a long time to develop the latest drug delivery methods.

The candidate for nascent COVID-19 is ‘a VLP virus-like particle (protein-base) vaccine candidate’ that produces ‘triple safeguard’ against the SARS CoV-2 virus. It means it can target the membrane, spike, and contain the coronavirus proteins. These three proteins are essential to the coronavirus structure and empower it to form and replicate inside the body. Mainly, vaccines should prompt the immune systems to produce antibodies that neutralize these antigenic proteins.

The challenge involved with creating an oral vaccine is that the gastric juices degrade any protective layers fast, enveloping the antigen and rendering them ineffective. According to Oravex, it resolved this issue, but they keep the method they used a secret.

The firm that is developing the vaccine, Oravax, is working together with Oramed and Premas. The former are specialists in developing oral drug delivery systems. Premas presents a technology platform known as D-crypt utilized to create various ‘hard to express’ proteins efficiently and significantly.

The vaccine candidate is also productive, safe, and well-endured at regular to high doses and produced neutralizing antibodies in high titers. Premas’ patented D-Crypt platform is used to manufacture the VLP that is highly accessible and can be created in significant quantities,’ Oravax stated in a statement.

The Co-founder & Managing Director of Premas Biotech, Prabuddha Kundu, informed The Hindu that an oral vaccine would reduce mass administration tremendously. ‘It would be similar to taking a vitamin pill and I want to reveal now that we are almost certain that the technology is effective and shows promise. In one month we expect a scientific publication showing our outcomes.’

Premas and Oramed present an oral insulin drug candidate implementing the same technologies essential to the vaccine candidate, and in the United States, it is presently in phase 3 human trials.

Currently, India only has two vaccines publicly accessible for the pandemic, although several others, implementing various methods, are in different levels of clinical trials.

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