Language version

CORONA VIRUS

Israel to Test Oral Covid-19 Vaccine

Advertisement

Published

on

An orally admnistered vaccine against Covid-19 is scheduled for its pioneer trial in Israel, Taarifa reliably reports.

According to Oramed Pharmaceuticals CEO Nadav Kidron, Israel will become first in world to test oral Covid-19 vaccine.

Oravax Medical is gearing up to commence clinical trials at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center after receiving approval for its study protocol from the hospital’s Institutional Review Board.

The final step remaining is approval from the country’s Health Ministry.

Oravax already completed GMP manufacturing in Europe of several thousand capsules that would be available for the Israeli trial and eventually in other countries.

Oramed is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company based on technology developed by Hadassah-University Medical Center.

In March, it announced a joint venture with India-based Premas Biotech to develop a novel oral vaccine.

Together they formed Oravax. The vaccine is based on Oramed’s “POD” oral delivery technology and Premas’s vaccine technology.

Oramed’s technology can be used to orally administer a number of protein-based therapies, which would otherwise be delivered by injection.

Oramed is in the midst of a Phase III clinical trial through the US Food and Drug Administration of an oral insulin capsule for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Premas has been working on developing a vaccine against the novel coronavirus since March.

The new Oravax vaccine candidate targets three structural proteins of the novel coronavirus, as opposed to the single spike protein targeted via the current Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, Kidron said.

As such, “this vaccine should be much more resistant to COVID-19 variants,” he said. “Even if the virus gets through one line, there is a second line, and if through the second line, there is a third.”

The vaccine is being tested in preclinical studies against COVID-19 variants, including the Delta variant.

The company completed a pilot animal study and found that the vaccine promoted the development of Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies and Immunoglobulin A (IgA). IgA is necessary for longer-term immunity.

The protocol for the inaugural Phase I/II trial that the company hopes to move forward at Sourasky would involve 24 volunteers who have not yet been inoculated with another vaccine.

Half of the group would take one capsule and the other two, Kidron explained. There is no placebo group because the goal is to measure the level of antibodies and other immunity indicators.

“The idea here is that we want to show proof of concept – that it works for people,” Kidron said. “I pray and hope that we will. Imagine that we could give someone an oral vaccine and they are vaccinated.

This would be a revolution for the entire world.”

He said with proof of concept, “the whole world opens up.”

“An oral COVID-19 vaccine would eliminate several barriers to rapid, wide-scale distribution, potentially enabling people to take the vaccine themselves at home,” Kidron told the Post.

“While ease of administration is critical today to accelerate inoculation rates, an oral vaccine could become even more valuable in the case that a COVID-19 vaccine may be recommended annually like the standard flu shot.”

The advantages of an oral vaccine go beyond safety and efficacy, Kidron said. Oral medications tend to have fewer side effects.

In addition, the vaccine can be shipped at refrigerator temperatures and even stored at room temperature, “making it logistically easier to get it anywhere around the world,” he added.

Finally, an oral vaccine would not require professional administration.
The Phase I/II trial is expected to take around six weeks from recruitment.

If the trial is successful, Kidron said he plans to put the vaccine on an accelerated road to get emergency use approval first in the countries that need it most, such as those in South America where they have not been able to acquire enough vaccines to inoculate their population.

He said the company would hold its Phase III trial with a limited number of volunteers and look for first approval in one of these “emerging markets” and only later target Food and Drug Administration authorization.

“Israel and the US and some of the other richer countries were the first to get Pfizer and Moderna,” he said. “But it looks to me like the people behind in the race will take over by being the first ones to get the oral vaccine.”

 

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CORONA VIRUS

Israel Agrees To Give Seniors 60+ third Covid Jab

Published

on

Israel’s four major health funds said they are preparing to welcome individuals over the age of 60 for a coronavirus booster shot, as Israelis were banned from traveling to four more countries and the Green Pass went back into effect.

The Health Ministry’s coronavirus vaccination committee voted by an almost unanimous majority of 56-1 to administer the third shot of the Pfizer vaccine to elderly people who were jabbed more than five months ago at a meeting that ran from 9 p.m. to midnight on Wednesday, despite a third shot still not being approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

President Isaac Herzog will receive the country’s first booster shot on Friday.

Maccabi Health Services said it would start vaccinating on Friday. The other health funds said they would begin taking appointments and offering shots on Sunday.

“Our strategy is clear: To safeguard life, and to safeguard daily routine in the State of Israel,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said.

He explained that the decision was based on considerable research and analysis, as well as the “rise and risk of the Delta variant wave. Israel has already vaccinated 2,000 immunosuppressed people with a third dose with no severe adverse events. Now, we are rolling out a national third-dose campaign. We will share all the information we have with the rest of the global community as we make progress.”

On Thursday morning, Prof. Nimrod Maimon, head of the Magen Avot V’Imahot program, met with representatives of the country’s assisted living facilities and said that the shots would be immediately administered at their homes.

The Israel Gerontological Society also said it was preparing to administer the tests to its residents. The society represents some 100 nursing and geriatric hospitals.

The move comes one day after Pfizer told its investors in a presentation that their research shows that a third dose of the vaccine increased antibodies by five to 11 times. The company said it hopes to apply for emergency use approval of the extra shot sometime in August.

The Delta variant has been quickly spreading across Israel.

Some 2,177 people were diagnosed on Wednesday, the Health Ministry reported on Thursday evening, with 2.36% of those who were screened tested positive. There were 151 people in serious condition, including 26 who were intubated.

A 38-year-old unvaccinated coronavirus patient being treated at Soroka Medical Center died on Thursday evening. He had no underlying medical conditions, the hospital said. On admission, his situation deteriorated rapidly until he was ultimately ventilated and placed on an ECMO machine.

“Without further action and widespread immunization by the public, the number of new and serious cases is expected to rise to such an extent that it could lead to congestion in the community health clinics and hospitals,” a report by the Coronavirus National Information and Knowledge Center said.

While the majority of new cases are younger people – among them unvaccinated children – the country is starting to see more and more elderly who were vaccinated five and six months ago get infected. Preliminary research by the Health Ministry showed that the Pfizer vaccine was only 16% effective against the Delta variant in people vaccinated so long ago.

Moreover, it is estimated that for people 60 and older, the effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing serious illness has dropped from 97% to 81%.

“Eighty-one percent is still effective, but the gap is dramatic,” tweeted Prof. Eran Segal of the Weizmann Institute of Science on Thursday morning. “Because if previously the chance of a vaccinated person aged 60+ getting seriously ill was 3%, now it is 19%, which means six times more.”

To help stop the spread of infection, the Knesset approved a request by the Health Ministry on Thursday to add the United Kingdom, Turkey, Cyprus and Georgia to the list of countries to which Israelis are banned from traveling.

During a meeting of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, Head of Public Health Services Prof. Sharon Alroy-Preis said the ministry intends to declare Greece, Bulgaria and the United Arab Emirates banned countries next week – some of the most popular summer tourist destinations.

The list of banned countries already included Uzbekistan, Argentina, Belarus, Brazil, South Africa, India, Mexico, Spain, Kyrgyzstan and Russia.

She also said that Italy and France would enter the list of orange countries, those countries from which all people whether vaccinated or not must enter isolation on return to Israel.

Alroy-Preis said that she does not believe the current restrictions at Ben-Gurion Airport are effective enough to stop the spread of the virus, describing a situation of “exponential growth” in imported disease.

According to her, some 800 sick people have entered through the country’s border crossings – mostly through the airport – and currently Israel is averaging 100 to 250 new cases coming in from abroad a day.

She said that some of the people test positive from their first screening at the airport and others when they test on their seventh day after arrival with the aim of leaving isolation.

Though she also said that only around 10% of people returning from abroad perform the second coronavirus test on the seventh day.

In addition, the Green Pass program was reinstated on Thursday.

The program requires an individual over the age of 12 to present a vaccination or recovery certificate or a negative coronavirus test taken within the last 72 hours to enter an event or location with more than 100 people.

The pass applies to cultural and sporting events, hotels and tourist attractions, gyms and workout studios, restaurants, bars, cafes, cafeterias, conferences and synagogues.

The government requested that the new Green Pass rules stay in effect through August 25, but the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee only approved the plan through August 7, the day before Israel is expected to roll out its rapid antigen testing system.

The committee said it wanted the government to come up with a plan for funding these rapid tests first.

To help enforce the wearing of masks on public transportation, Bennett and Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli announced that some 400 inspectors would be hired for the next three months, with an option to renew their contracts as needed after that.

Continue Reading

CORONA VIRUS

Mixed AstraZeneca-Pfizer Shot Boosts Covid Antibody Level – Study

Published

on

A mixed vaccination of first AstraZeneca (AZN.L) and then a Pfizer (PFE.N) COVID-19 shot boosted neutralizing antibody levels by six times compared with two AstraZeneca doses, a study from South Korea showed.

The study involved 499 medical workers – 100 receiving mixed doses, 200 taking two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech (22UAy.DE) shot and the remainder getting two AstraZeneca shots.

All showed neutralizing antibodies, which prevent the virus from entering cells and replicating, and the result of the mixed schedule of vaccines showed similar amounts of neutralizing antibodies found from the group that received two Pfizer shots.

A British study last month showed similar results – an AstraZeneca shot followed by Pfizer produced the best T-cell responses, and a higher antibody response than Pfizer followed by AstraZeneca.

The data provides further support for the decision of several countries to offer alternatives to AstraZeneca as a second shot after the vaccine was linked to rare blood clots.

The South Korean study also analysed neutralizing activity against major variants of concern, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

None of the groups demonstrated reduced neutralising activity against the Alpha variant, first identified in Britain, but the neutralisation titre decreased by 2.5 to 6 fold against Beta, Gamma and Delta, first detected in South Africa, Brazil and India respectively.

Reuters

Continue Reading

CORONA VIRUS

Lockdown in Kigali Extended For 5 Days

Published

on

Rwanda’s capital Kigali will continue under a strict Lockdown for more 5 days from July 27th and ending on July 30th.

“In order to consolidate the gains in decreasing the number of Covid-19 cases and related deaths, government has extended the current preventive measures for five more days,” a statement released on July 25th reads in part.

Just like City of Kigali, districts of Nyagatare, Gicumbi, Rwamagana, Rutsiro, Rubavu,Musanze,Kamonyi and Burera will also remain under strict lockdown.

 

 

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Canal+ Advert

Canal+ Advert
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending