Israel’s Oravax oral COVID-19 vaccine heads to Southeast Asia

Oravax Medical signed a cooperation and Purchase Agreement with Vietnam-based Tan Thanh Holdings Investment Joint Stock Company to pre-purchase 10 million doses of Oravax’s oral COVID-19 vaccine

 Dr. Miriam Kidron, CSO and founder of Oramed Pharmaceuticals, and HE Ambassador Do Minh Hung, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to the State of Israel. (photo credit: Oramed Pharmaceuticals)
Dr. Miriam Kidron, CSO and founder of Oramed Pharmaceuticals, and HE Ambassador Do Minh Hung, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to the State of Israel.
(photo credit: Oramed Pharmaceuticals)

Israel’s oral vaccine is heading to Southeast Asia, Oramed Pharmaceutical announced Wednesday.

The company’s subsidiary, Oravax Medical, signed a cooperation and purchase agreement with Vietnam-based Tan Thanh Holdings Investment Joint Stock Company to prepurchase 10 million doses of Oravax’s oral COVID-19 vaccine, currently in development.

The agreement grants Tan Thanh Holdings the right to sell Oravax’s oral vaccine in development throughout the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which includes Vietnam, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

“This prepurchase of our oral COVID-19 vaccine in development represents a major milestone for Oravax Medical and another step forward in the implementation of our long-term strategy,” said Oramed CEO and Oravax Chairman Nadav Kidron.

Moreover, Tan Thanh Holdings has received approval from the Vietnamese Health Ministry to conduct advanced-stage clinical trials of the vaccine to help advance it toward regulatory approval.

 Dr. Miriam Kidron, CSO and founder of Oramed Pharmaceuticals, and HE Ambassador Do Minh Hung, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to the State of Israel. (credit: Oramed Pharmaceuticals) Dr. Miriam Kidron, CSO and founder of Oramed Pharmaceuticals, and HE Ambassador Do Minh Hung, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to the State of Israel. (credit: Oramed Pharmaceuticals)

“With the dramatic increase in positive cases of the Omicron variant, the global need for an oral vaccine that protects against current and future variants is crucial,” Kidron added. “An oral COVID-19 vaccine would significantly improve vaccination logistics and reduce costs.

“We view Tan Thanh Holdings as an ideal partner to bring our vaccine to Vietnam and the ASEAN region.”

Oravax developed a novel oral virus-like particle COVID-19 vaccine based on the Oramed’s “POD” oral delivery technology that can be used to orally administer a number of protein-based therapies, which would otherwise be delivered by injection. The vaccine was developed in collaboration with an Indian company, Premas.

The Oravax vaccine candidate targets three structural proteins of the novel coronavirus, as opposed to the single spike protein targeted by 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 company kicked off a Phase I clinical trial in South Africa earlier this month.