iosBio Biopharma joins race to develop COVID-19 vaccine delivering unique double immunity using self-administered capsules

by Brad Kilner | Apr 30, 2020 | News | 0 comments



iosBio Biopharma joins race to develop COVID-19 vaccine delivering unique double immunity using self-administered capsules

Burgess Hill, UK, 30 April 2020 STABILITECH BIOPHARMA LTD (“iosBio”), a UK biotechnology company developing next generation vaccines and biopharmaceuticals, has announced today that, it is seeking an investment of £6m to fund clinical trials and manufacturing of an oral coronavirus vaccine, OraPro-COVID-19.

“Delivering a COVID-19 vaccine in the shortest time possible is only half the challenge,” highlight’s iosBio’s Chairman, Wayne Channon. “delivering a vaccine that works is more important. COVID-19 infects the mucous membranes, or linings, of the ear, nose throat and lungs. That is why we are targeting our vaccine to hit COVID-19 where it sits – in mucosal cells. Other vaccines are currently only targeting the systemic immune system, but we know from our research that COVID -19 is a mucosal virus, therefore all vaccine developers should also be looking for a vaccine that targets both mucosal and systemic immunity. This is what OraPro- COVID-19 delivers in a single capsule.”

According to Channon, iosBio’s unique OraPro-COVID-19 capsules contain a freeze-dried COVID-19 vaccine and are thermally stable, which means they do not need refrigeration, as most other vaccines do. It can be simply mailed and self-administered: “Even the most vulnerable and shielded can benefit without a high risk visit to a healthcare professional. The unique benefit of this vaccine is that it can be self- administered, meaning that once it has been delivered via post, you can simply swallow the capsule. No injections, no needles, no nurse or doctor’s visit, therefore no need for PPE that’s still in such short supply. And no expensive cold-chain storage is required like most other vaccines currently under development.”

So, how does this seemingly too-good-to-be-true technology work? iosBio’s founder and Chief Scientific Officer Dr Jeff Drew (a virologist who has over 40 biotech patents to his name), explains: “To generate protective immunity, first we insert the Spike-protein DNA from COVID-19, the S-protein cargo, into a non-replicating adenovirus, the viral vector. OraPro’s thermal stability technology is applied and packaged within an acid resistant capsule that protects the vaccine as it passes through the stomach before being dissolved in the gut. Because it is thermally stable, the vaccine is unharmed by the high – 37 degrees centigrade – temperatures in the stomach.

“The viral vector delivers the S-protein cargo DNA to mucosal intestinal cells, which produce copies of the COVID-19 S-protein. These cells deliver the S-protein to the cell membrane that results in mucosal and systemic immunity. It takes two to three weeks for the immunity to develop.”

Initial animal safety trials have been successfully concluded and the next stage of iosBio’s OraPro COVID-19 development is clinical trials, under the supervision of the regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Trials are set to start in June, and a vaccine could be available by the end of the year. To achieve this, iosBio requires £6m in funding for the clinical trials and manufacturing the capsule. InnovateUK requested iosBio to repurpose its Zika funding to start the research and development of OraPro-COVID-19 but greater investment is required to finance this next vital stage of development.

“We are confident that the science behind OraPro-COVID-19 works as we’ve seen in our recent project with the Zika Virus vaccine. Conditional on the funding being available for clinical trial, OraPro-COVID-19 can be delivered faster than many other vaccine candidates.”
For further information about the science behind OraPro-COVID-19 and investment opportunities please contact:

End of press release (585 words)

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