MigVax Ltd., an Israeli startup company developing an oral subunit vaccine against coronavirus, announced Thursday that preclinical trials yielded promising results that demonstrated its MigVax-101 subunit oral vaccine was effective as a booster for previously vaccinated persons.
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 facets 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.
In the trial, tests carried out on rats demonstrated that the MigVax-101 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 is seeking the financing necessary for it to launch the first and second phases of its clinical trials, which, if successful, would make the treatment commercially available within 9-12 months after trials begin.
As an oral vaccine, Mig-Vax-101 offers significant potential advantages over existing first-generation injected vaccines, including the ease of administration and being uniquely positioned to tackle new variants through quick adaptability
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.
Furthermore, MigVax-101 requires refrigeration, but not “deep freeze” conditions, as opposed to coronavirus vaccines using mRNA technology such as the Pfizer and Moderna shots. This significantly reduces distribution and storage costs and logistics.
“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,” said Prof. Itamar Shalit, MigVax’s Infectious Disease Expert.
“Oral boosters such as our MigVax-101 will be key enablers that will help health organizations the world over to transition from ‘panic mode’ to routine, due to their ability to reduce the cost and expand the reach of ongoing vaccination programs,” he said.