Stabilitech Biopharma, which is developing OraPro-COVID-19, an oral coronavirus vaccine with two unique properties, capsule administration and broad mucosal and systemic immunity, has been formally recognised on the international stage by the WHO as a vaccine developer, with OraPro-COVID-19 being included in the WHO’s Draft Landscape of COVID-19 Candidate Vaccines document. In addition, two Stabilitech board members, Dr Jeff Drew and Dr Elliot Bland, were invited to participate in the WHO Expert Group meetings on “Assay Development for Vaccines” and “Animal Models”.
Stabilitech has also announced that it is seeking an investment of £6 million to fund clinical trials and manufacturing it says it requires to make the vaccine available by the end of 2020
Company Chairman Wayne Channon said: “COVID-19 infects the mucous membranes, or linings, of the ear, nose throat and lungs. That is why we are targeting our vaccine to hit COVID-19 where it sits – in mucosal cells … All vaccine developers should also be looking for a vaccine that targets both mucosal and systemic immunity.”
Presented in oral capsule form as a lyophilised poweder, the vaccine is self-administered and requires no cold chain storage so it can be simply mailed and self-administered. “The unique benefit of this vaccine is that it can be self-administered, meaning that once it has been delivered via post, you can simply swallow the capsule. No injections, no needles, no nurse or doctor’s visit,” Channon continued.
Stabilitech’s Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Jeff Drew, a virologist named on >40 biotech patents, explained how the vaccine is created: “To generate protective immunity, first we insert the Spike-protein DNA from COVID-19, the S-protein cargo, into a non-replicating adenoviral vector. OraPro’s thermal stability technology is applied and packaged within an acid-resistant capsule that protects the vaccine as it passes through the stomach before being dissolved in the gut. Because it is thermally stable, the vaccine is unharmed by the 37°C temperatures in the stomach.
“The viral vector delivers the S-protein cargo DNA to mucosal intestinal cells, which produce copies of the COVID-19 S-protein. These cells deliver the S-protein to the cell membrane that results in mucosal and systemic immunity. It takes two to three weeks for the immunity to develop.”
Link to Press Release.