Pills Could Replace Jabs

British biotech has found a way to turn injected vaccines into tablets and believes it could represent a new paradigm in vaccination. You wouldn’t need medical professionals to administer the vaccine, so you could send pills out on Amazon Prime and have everyone vaccinated within a few days.

Putting Covid vaccines into pills could soon move from dream to reality after a British biotech signed an agreement with a US pharmaceutical company to test the technology in clinical trials. Sussex-based IosBio has found a way to turn injected vaccines into orally administered tablets. The technology is now being used by ImmunityBio, a Californian company developing a vaccine against Covid after signing a licensing agreement with iosBio.


The oral vaccine will begin clinical trials on Americans this month and ImmunityBio is applying for regulatory approval to run trials in the UK. IosBio’s technology is called OraPro. It engineers vaccines into pills that can withstand temperatures of up to 50C, allowing them to pass through the stomach and be directly absorbed into the mucous membranes.


“You catch Covid in your mucosal cells,” said Wayne Channing, chief executive of iosBio. “But with jabs you get injected into the arm which goes into the muscles and blood cells. Our tablets go straight into mucosal cells to illicit mucosal immunity so we hit the virus where it is.


“When you catch this virus you breath it in or swallow it and 80 percent of your immune system cells are mucosal so we are addressing that directly. I think this will be a new paradigm in vaccination.”


Mr Channing added: "With our capsule you wouldn’t need medical professionals to administer the vaccine, you could send this out on Amazon Prime and have everyone vaccinated by Saturday.”

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