Premas Biotech announced its joint venture Oravax will initiate testing of their oral virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine candidate against Omicron variant of SARS-CoV 2 virus through preclinical, in vitro and challenge studies to assess its efficacy for the new mutant strain. Premas Biotech, Oramed Pharmaceuticals, MyMD Pharmaceuticals, and certain other shareholders formed Oravax Medical to bring an oral COVID-19 vaccine to the market.
“Oravax’s virus-like particle vaccine candidate was designed knowing the high probability for mutations occurring to Spike protein, which we are witnessing now. Our oral vaccine candidate is a triple antigen vaccine which besides the Spike protein also includes Membrane and Envelope proteins, both of which are not known to mutate. We are now initiating preclinical in-vitro testing and challenge studies for our oral vaccine candidate against the recently defined variant of concern (VOC) Omicron,” stated Prabuddha Kundu, PhD, Co-founder and MD, Premas Biotech.
Nupur Mehrotra, COO, Premas Biotech said, “We have generated well characterized VLPs with earlier mutations – alpha, beta, gamma and delta variants into the triple antigen VLP framework within 8 weeks. We are hopeful that the Oravax oral vaccine candidate will pass the preclinical challenge studies being designed for Omicron.”
The Oravax oral vaccine candidate has received clearance from South African Health Products Regulatory Authority to begin enrollment in phase I clinical trials in South Africa. If approved, Oravax’s oral VLP vaccine candidate would be used either as a standalone vaccine or as a booster for previously vaccinated individuals. The oral method of administration may result in greater safety by reducing potential side effects. Oravax’s vaccine technology is highly scalable for manufacturing and is easily transferable for wide scale logistical distribution, as there is no need for freezer storage.