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Oravax could be “game changer” for countries that have yet to launch vaccination campaigns.

By United With Israel Staff

Israel is due to begin the world’s first clinical trials of a Covid vaccine that can be taken orally.

Oravax is the oral version of a vaccine now being developed by Premas Biotech, which is based in India.

Nadav Kidron, CEO of the Jerusalem-based Oramed Pharmaceuticals, hopes his vaccine, Oravax, will be a “game changer.” Because the vaccine does not need to be stored at low temperatures or be administered by medical professionals, Oravax could be rapidly distributed to countries that have not yet launched immunization campaigns.

Kidron said that pills could be especially useful for people needing a booster, and believes Oravax will provide potent protection against new Covid variants.

Oramed received permission from the Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv to begin clinical trials in August, pending final approval from the Ministry of Health. Pills will be given to 24 unvaccinated volunteers, whose level of antibodies will be monitored.

In March, Israeli researchers in Rehovot tested Oravax on pigs. The pigs produced the expected antibodies, paving the way for clinical trials on people.

In an interview with the Times of Israel, Kidron explained that Oravax targets three SARS CoV-2 virus surface proteins, unlike other vaccines that only target one. He also said that the proteins which Oravax hones in on are not susceptible to mutation, which will make the vaccine effective even against new variants.

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