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March 22, 2021updated 23 Mar 2021 2:41pm

Coronavirus company news summary – new joint venture to develop oral Covid-19 vaccines – Health Canada confirms benefits, safety of AZ vaccine

By Chris Lo

Oramed Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage pharmaceutical firm, announced that it has entered into definitive agreements for a joint venture to develop novel oral Covid-19 vaccines. The new company, Oravax Medical, is based on Oramed’s proprietary POD oral delivery technology and Premas Biotech’s novel vaccine technology. The virus like particle (VLP) triple antigen vaccine targets three structural proteins, providing broader protection to individuals against emerging mutations. Oravax plans to start a clinical study in the second quarter of 2021.

Health Canada has confirmed that the benefits of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine continue to outweigh the risks for Canadians. The agency has advised that all citizens should get immunised with any of the Covid-19 vaccines authorised in the country. The agency has been investigating the available data on reported events of blood clots following the administration of the vaccine and confirmed that the vaccine is not associated with an increase in the risk of blood clots.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Stelis Biopharma, the biopharmaceutical arm of pharma company Strides Pharma Science, have partnered to manufacture and supply 200 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine, enough to vaccinate 100 million individuals. The agreement was reached with the support of Enso Healthcare, RDIF’s coordination partner for sourcing Sputnik V vaccines in India. Sputnik V is a two-dose vaccine that has been approved for use in more than 50 countries. It has demonstrated an efficacy rate of 91.6% in a peer-reviewed study.

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