An oral COVID-19 vaccine developed in Israel has shown promising results in rats, and its researchers expect it to be available as a booster shot for people within nine months. According to David Zigdon, CEO of MigVax, more than 70 rats were injected with traditional COVID-19 vaccinations and subsequently given the oral MigVax booster, and their immune systems all responded as expected.
"Everyone speaks about how we need vaccination boosters, and we expect to be able to provide many of them with our oral booster following a successful preclinical study. There were no negative effects, and their antibody levels grew significantly," Zigdon told The Times of Israel.
Research of oral COVID-19 vaccine in rats shows significant promise
In a laboratory, scientists infected blood from rats with SARSCoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Following the success with the oral vaccine from animal testing, human trials are being planned, with dosages potentially ready for human usage by early 2022. Booster demand is projected to be strong.
Zigdon went on to say that the technology employed in his booster makes it easy to adapt to new coronavirus strains, so if one arises that breaks through existing vaccinations, it may be administered to extend protection. Immune responses were greater in the rats that got the oral vaccination than in the control group.
Since the pandemic, scientists in northern Israel have been working tirelessly to develop a vaccine for a viral strain that causes bronchial illness in poultry so that it may be used to combat SARSCoV2. Work began at the state-funded Migal Galilee Research Institute and is currently centered at MigVax, a subsidiary of the institute.
The subject of the trial is an oral unit vaccination, unlike the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, which employ messenger RNA to transmit the coronavirus antigen to the immune system without adding pathogen particles, whole or otherwise. The vaccine was given to the rats in a boost format after a double injection of the coronavirus spike (S1) protein in the preclinical study.
According to the findings, rats who were given MigVax as a booster had significantly greater neutralizing antibody titers than rats given an oral placebo booster. Furthermore, it produced more potent neutralizing antibodies than a third S1 booster shot.
Laster, who is in charge of OurCrowd's medical technology investments, told The Jerusalem Post, "They are trying to use this as a booster for individuals who took AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, or the Chinese vaccine." MigVax's first investment round was headed by OurCrowd.
Mig-Vax-101 oral COVID-19 vaccine's advantages
Per Businesswire, Mig-Vax-101, as an oral vaccination, has many potential benefits over today's first-generation injectable vaccines such as:
- Ease of administration: Oral delivery eliminates the need for healthcare providers to administer the medication.
- Uniquely positioned to deal with new variants: The RBD subunit can rapidly adapt to new variants, which might aid in the development of more effective neutralizing antibodies. Furthermore, because the other components of the vaccine are made up of a protein that is resistant to alteration, the vaccination may last longer before requiring a booster.
- Applicability to a broader population: Because the MigVax-101 subunit oral vaccine does not inject people with viruses or genetic material, it will be much more acceptable to a wider range of people, including those who are wary of receiving genetic or viral material injections, as well as children, pregnant women, and other vulnerable groups.
- Mucosal immunity: Preclinical studies revealed high levels of mucosal IgA in lung wash, indicating that oral vaccination provides targeted protection at the virus's entry point.
- Ease of transport and storage: While MigVax-101 does need to be refrigerated, it does not need to be frozen. This lowers the cost of distribution and storage, as well as logistics.