People scared of needles and injections would be delighted to hear that soon they may be able to take the COVID-19 vaccine in the form of a capsule. New forms of COVID-19 vaccine are currently being developed by multiple pharmaceutical firms around the world. One of these new forms of the COVID-19 vaccine is a capsule that can be administered orally. This COVID-19 vaccine capsule is being developed by Indian pharma firm Premas Biotech.
Premas Biotech in collaboration with American firm Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc had announced on March 19 that they are developing an oral COVID-19 vaccine candidate that has shown efficacy upon administration of a single dose.
A single dose of the Oravax COVID-19 capsule and been found effective and its efficacy has been proven by tests on animals as part of the vaccine's pilot study. The oral vaccine upon administration promoted both systemic immunity by producing Neutralising Antibodies (IgG) as well as (IgA) immune response. These protect the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts against infection.
The technique used in oral COVID-19 vaccine
Premas' protein-based Virus Like Particle (VLP) COVID-19 vaccine provides triple protection against three parts of the SARS CoV-2 virus. These are - Spike S, Membrane M, and Envelope E targets. It does not provide protection against Nucleocapsid N antigen. Dr Prabuddha Kundu serves as the Co-founder and Managing Director of Premas Biotech.
The VLPs in the vaccine are produced using Premas's proprietary Crypt platform while its collaborator Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc has the world's leading oral Protein Delivery Platform (POD). The Oravax COVID-19 vaccine candidate thus combines and harnesses the true potential of the two unique platforms.
The current observations regarding the oral vaccine are based on the preliminary results of animal studies. Clinical trials are expected to be launched in the second quarter of 2021.
Indian firm Bharat Biotech is currently developing a COVID-19 vaccine in the nasal form along with the University of Wisconsin. Clinical trials for this have already begun.