Israel’s Oravax Medical, a subsidiary of Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced this month that it has partnered with Genomma Lab Internacional, in a 50/50 joint venture to develop and commercialize Oravax’s oral COVID-19 vaccine candidate in Mexico.
The Mexico-based pharmaceutical firm Genomma Lab is expected to contribute its sales and distribution network to the joint venture’s oral COVID-19 vaccine development, as well as clinical, regulatory, and commercial activities in Mexico supported by close strategic cooperation between the two companies. Genomma Lab will leverage its extensive supply chain capabilities, partnerships, and market presence in Latin America to support the business development process and vaccine roll-out throughout the region.
“We are very excited to be partnering with Genomma. The synergies between our respective companies’ core competencies made it clear that the combination of our particular strengths represents a unique and significant opportunity. The winning combination of Oravax’s cutting edge science and Genomma’s exceptional sales and distribution network throughout Mexico and Latin America, as well as their local regulatory expertise, results in a powerful venture,” said Nadav Kidron CEO of Oramed and Chairman of Oravax.
Genomma Lab Chairman Rodrigo Herrera said that once developed and authorized, Oravax’s next-generation oral vaccine and booster candidate would help protect the population of Mexico and potentially people throughout Latin America from the COVID-19 virus. “Based on our initial discussion with the authorities, we are already beginning to prepare for a Phase 2 trial immediately upon successful completion of the Phase 1 trial of the oral vaccine in South Africa. Oravax’s oral vaccine’s superior target profile makes it an ideal candidate for an expedited approval process (Emergency Use Approval),” he added.”
Oramed also received official approval in South Africa this month to start a clinical trial on 24 unvaccinated volunteers who will be monitored for level of antibodies after they take the pill. The trials will commence shortly and last a few months, according to Kidron. Oramed also received approval from the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center to begin a clinical trial on the same number of unvaccinated volunteers in Israel. However, Kidron notes that they are still waiting for final approval from the Israeli Health Ministry.
If approved, Oravax’s oral VLP vaccine, which targets three SARS CoV-2 virus surface proteins, would be used either as a standalone or as a booster for previously vaccinated individuals. The oral method of administration may result in greater safety by reducing potential side effects. Oravax’s VLP vaccine technology is highly scalable for manufacturing and is easily transferable for wide scale logistical distribution as there is no need for freezer storage.
Founded in 2006 by Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center Diabetes Unit senior researcher Dr. Miriam Kidron and her son, entrepreneur Nadav Kidron, Oramed is a publicly-traded company engaged in the development of oral drug delivery systems and is using its expertise to develop innovative technology to transform injectable treatments into oral therapies. It is best known for its oral insulin capsule developed to treat Type 2 diabetes.