Israel’s MigVax oral vaccine has a score of $ 3.4 million. to accelerate development

Israel’s MigVax has received a $ 3.4 million grant to help develop its COVID-19 oral subunit vaccine tablet from the Norway-based Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
The award is part of $ 200 million. program to advance the development of vaccines that provide broad protection against COVID-19 variants or future coronaviruses.

The Infectious Diseases and Vaccines Organization at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada also received a grant from CEPI.

“We are pleased that CEPI shares our belief that a subunit oral vaccine tablet could help the world return to a ‘new normal’ in the ‘day after pandemic’ reality,” said MigVax CEO David Zigdon. In fact, 20 months after the COVID crisis, it is clearer than ever that the fight to keep the disease under control will be almost as challenging as getting it under control to begin with.

“Oral boosters like our MigVax-101 that could protect against emerging variants of COVID-19 will help healthcare organizations transition from panic mode to routine, reducing cost and expanding the reach of their vaccination programs.” continuous. “We will make the most of this grant to bring it to market faster and explore the potential use of our vaccine platform against other coronaviruses.”

David Zigdon, CEO of MigVax. (credit: MIGAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE)

MigVax is a subsidiary of MIGAL Galilee Research Institute. The vaccine is called MigVax-101.

Unlike the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines that use messenger RNA, this is an oral subunit vaccine, which means that the vaccine presents the coronavirus antigen to the immune system without introducing pathogenic particles, whole or not.

MIGAL was the first company in the world to announce that it would launch a vaccine on the market.

In February 2020, an announcement from MIGAL, with a quote from then-science and technology minister Ofir Akunis, promised that “the vaccine could be ready in a few weeks and available in 90 days.” However, shortly after the company fell silent.

In June, the company said it was on its way to clinical trials and hoped to have the vaccine ready as a booster dose for people over the next year.

A statement explained that the Israeli and Canadian projects aim to establish a preclinical proof of concept for “variant-proof” vaccines against COVID-19 and that the vaccine platforms could also be used in the future to protect against as-yet unknown pathogens that could arise. .

The organization’s investment will go into antigen and candidate selection, vaccine formulation, manufacturing process development, and preclinical testing.

In exchange for the grant, organizations must commit to “achieving equitable access to the results of these projects” in line with CEPI’s Equitable Access Policy, which would allow the vaccines it helps to develop to be used free of charge if they are produces an outbreak. .

The awards were awarded following a CEPI call for proposals that was issued in March 2021. Additional awards are expected to be announced soon.

CEPI, which was launched in Davos in 2017, is an association of public, private, philanthropic and civil organizations. It aims to develop vaccines against future pandemics. Before COVID, he worked on vaccines against Ebola, Middle East respiratory syndrome, and others.

“In countries with sufficient access to them, vaccines are now breaking the link between COVID-19 infection and serious illness or death, and allowing life to return to something close to normal,” said Dr. Richard Hatchett, CEO of CEPI. “But the threat of new variants emerging, which may evade the protection of our current vaccines and bring the global response back to square one, continues to weigh on all of us. That is why the development of globally accessible vaccines that broadly protect against COVID-19 variants is imperative for global health security. Through these new partnerships, we are taking the first steps to achieve that goal. “

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