March 23 2021 10:49 o'clock </time></p><div><p> A new vaccine for COVID-19 that can be swallowed like a pill could begin clinical trials soon after its developers reported promising preliminary data. </p></div><div><p>The drug called Oravax is being developed by the Israeli-American pharmaceutical company Oramed Pharmaceuticals and the Indian company Premas Biotech. The new joint venture Oravax Medical Inc. is based on Oramed's oral delivery technology and Premas Biotech's novel vaccine technology.
A pilot study conducted on animals found that the oral vaccine helps produce antibodies that create immunity to the coronavirus. The promising results were obtained with a single Oravax capsule: this distinguishes the oral vaccine from some other products, of which two partial vaccinations are required.
Prabuddha Kundu, co-founder of Premas Biotech, told Indian media that giving the vaccine “is like taking a vitamin pill” and they are “more than 100 percent certain that the technology will work”. The results of the preliminary animal tests would soon be published in a scientific journal, he added. Nadav Kidron, managing director of Oramed, said the Jerusalem Postthat the oral medication could be taken from the comfort of your home. According to him, giving the vaccine orally could result in fewer side effects.
The drug can be transported at refrigerator temperature and stored at room temperature, avoiding logistical problems.
However, it will be a while before the pill hits the market. The company soon plans to conduct human studies in the United States, Israel, Mexico, and Europe. The start of a clinical study is expected in the second quarter of 2021.
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