Hyderabad: Oravax, an Oramed Pharmaceuticals and Premas Biotech JV firm, and the owner of the virus-like particle (VLP) technology that targets three SARS CoV-2 virus surface proteins, making the vaccine potentially effective against current and future variants of the Covid-19 virus, has out-licensed certain rights in India to Premas.
Gurugram-based Premas Biotech plans to manufacture, test, and potentially commercialise the injectable version of the VLP vaccine in India where the Covid-19 vaccine market is anticipated to grow to over $2.3 billion (about Rs 17,000 crore) by 2027.
India is currently in a race to speed up the pace of Covid-19 vaccinations for its population of 1.4 billion as the country’s death toll from the pandemic has topped 4,00,000 with 31 million cases.
As Oravax maintains its focus on oral vaccines, it has licensed to Premas the right to develop an injectable version of its VLP technology with an aim to address the urgent need for a vaccine which is effective against the Delta variant. Oravax is entitled to royalties upon commercialisation of this vaccine in India.
“Oravax’s VLP platform technology can be delivered either via injection or orally. Because Oravax is focused on oral vaccines, we saw a clear benefit to out-licensing rights to the injectable version in India, where there is an urgent need for vaccines,” said Nadav Kidron, CEO of Oramed.
Oral Covid-19 vaccine
Oravax is gearing up to begin clinical trials for its oral Covid-19 vaccine, first in Israel, then in additional clinical sites internationally. The study protocol has been approved by the Institutional Review Board at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, Israel and is now pending approval from the Israeli Ministry of Health.
The oral VLP Covid-19 vaccine is being developed for use both as a standalone vaccine as well as a booster for people who have been previously vaccinated for Covid-19. Experts including at the World Health Organization expect booster shots will be needed for both general and at-risk populations.
If successful, an oral vaccine would offer enormous logistical, financial, and environmental benefits for the billions of people slated to receive them, particularly in parts of the world where access to healthcare is limited.
“Our vaccine is a particularly strong candidate against the evolving Covid-19 virus due to its unique targeting of three proteins rather than one. With the Delta and other variants proving a challenge to health administrators globally, Oravax’s VLP technology could prove even more important in the effort to combat Covid,” Kidron added.
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