Premas Biotech, Israel's Oramed jointly develop capsule vaccine for Covid-19
26 March 2021
Premas Biotech, a Gurugram-based biotechnology firm jointly with Oramed Pharmaceuticals, a Jerusalem headquartered company, have reportedly developed an oral vaccine pill for Covid-19 that can be swallowed instead of being injected.
Preliminary tests in animals have shown the vaccine producing the expected antibodies that confer protection, according to reports in The Hindu as well as in India Today.
The reports said the findings have not been reported in a scientific publication are yet to be independently verified. The two companies have a long-standing collaboration on developing new drug delivery techniques.
The nascent vaccine candidate is reported to be a protein-based VLP (Virus-Like Particle) vaccine-candidate. It generates “triple protection” against the SARS CoV-2 virus, ie, the spike, the membrane, and the envelope proteins of the coronavirus.
These 3 proteins are critical to the structure of the coronavirus These proteins give it the form (shape) it has and helps it replicate within the host’s body.
Vaccines do the job of neutralising these antigenic proteins.
The challenges in the path of making oral vaccines, however, is that the stomach secrete strong gastric juices, Anything we ingest (including these oral vaccine capsules) must face the ferocity of gastric juices. These gastric acids can degrade any protective layers enclosing the antigen and turn the vaccine useless.
Oravax says that they have overcome this challenge. They will, however, not part with the secret proprietary formula.
Premas Biotech specialises in developing recombinant proteins for vaccine development. Such proteins are often “difficult to express proteins” (DTE-Ps). Our innovative D-Crypt platform is optimized for high-yield production of DTE-Ps, singularly, or in combination.
Through a partnership with Akers Biosciences, Premas is leveraging D-Crypt to develop a multicomponent recombinant protein vaccine against Covid-19.
Premas has developed over 25 vaccine candidates for human and animal use, including bacterial, viral, anti-helminthic, and ScFV based vaccines.
The D-Crypt platform has previously scaled multi-component protein systems successfully and applied them to vaccine development. Our platform is the only example to have expressed more than 30 different type 1 membrane proteins, including the Influenza virus NA protein and the Rotavirus spike protein. Our success in expressing the large, complex NA protein, gives us confidence that we can produce the Covid-19 type 1 membrane proteins successfully.