QIRYAT SHMONA, Israel–(BUSINESS WIRE)–MigVax Ltd., a startup company developing an oral subunit vaccine against COVID-19, today announced promising results from preclinical tests that demonstrated the effectivity of its MigVax-101 subunit oral vaccine as a booster for previously vaccinated persons.
In the trial, tests carried out on rats demonstrated that the MigVax-101 sub-unit oral vaccine, when administered in a boost format following an injected S1 protein, elicited markedly higher neutralizing antibody titers than rats receiving an oral placebo booster. In addition, similar to a third booster injection, it elicited more effective neutralizing antibodies.
MigVax currently seeks the financing necessary for it to launch Phase 1 & 2 clinical trials, which, if successful, it believes would lead to commercial availability 9-12 months after the trials begin. For the full results of the preclinical test, please refer here.
As an oral vaccine, Mig-Vax-101 offers significant potential advantages over today’s first- generation injected vaccines:
- Ease of administration: Oral administration obviates the need for administration by healthcare professionals.
- Uniquely positioned to tackle new variants: The RBD subunit can be quickly adapted to novel variants, a benefit which may help guide the production of more effective neutralizing antibodies. In addition, because the other components of the vaccine are comprised of a protein that is not prone to changes, the vaccine may remain effective for longer periods before requiring a booster.
- Mucosal immunity: Preclinical data demonstrated marked mucosal IgA in lung wash, meaning that the oral vaccine delivers special protection at the exact location needed: the port of entry of the virus.
- Ease of transport and storage: While MigVax-101 does require refrigeration, it does not require “deep freeze” conditions. This significantly reduces distribution and storage costs and logistics.
- Applicability to a broader population: Because the MigVax-101 subunit oral vaccine does not inject persons with viruses or genetic material, it will be much more acceptable to a wider population, including those who are reticent to receive injections of genetic or viral material as well as infants, children, pregnant women and certain other segments of the population.
“The results of this trial increase our confidence that our MigVax-101 subunit oral vaccine will make a positive contribution to a world coming to grips with the new post-pandemic reality,” commented Prof. Itamar Shalit, MigVax’s Infectious Disease Expert.
“Fifteen months into the pandemic, we now see that the struggle to keep Covid under control is nearly as challenging as getting it under control to begin with. Oral boosters such as our MigVax-101 will be key enablers that will help health organizations the world over transition from ‘panic mode’ to routine, due to their ability to reduce the cost and expand the reach of ongoing vaccination programs.”
MigVax-101 is a novel oral subunit vaccine that utilizes a chimeric protein to generate three kinds of simultaneous immunological responses: mucosal, blood-based, and cell-mediated immunity. This triple-armed approach provides comprehensive protection against infection by activating all arms of the immune system, allowing for the effective eradication of the invading virus. Its epitopes were designed using computational chemistry of immunogenic epitopes in IBV, MERS, SARS-COV and SAS-COV-2, focusing on neutralizing antibodies and promoting an immune response.
MigVax Ltd. develops a novel COVID-19 vaccine. MigVax, an affiliate of The Migal Galilee Research Institute. The Migal Galilee Research Institute has previously developed a vaccine against infectious bronchitis virus, a coronavirus strain which causes bronchial disease affecting poultry. The effectiveness of the poultry vaccine has been proven in animal trials carried out at Israel’s Veterinary institute. MigVax is using the methods learned from the existing vaccine to develop a new oral subunit human vaccine against COVID-19. The first investment round was led by OurCrowd a global venture investing platform that empowers institutions and individuals to invest and engage in emerging companies.