Brit biotech firm iosBio has made a breakthrough in the making of a combined flu and Covid vaccine pill that would be a massive boost in tackling the respiratory viruses
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A British firm has made a breakthrough in the development of a combined flu and Covid vaccine pill that would be a massive boost in tackling respiratory viruses and returning life to normal.
West Sussex-based biotech firm iosBio has said they have had “excellent” results from early studies of a “fluvid” vaccine pill, reported the Daily Express.
Vaccinations have changed the outlook in the battle against Covid with people who have been jabbed less likely to suffer severe illness.
But the new pill being developed could make the whole process cheaper and pain-free, and the capsule containing both the flu and Covid vaccines could be sent in the mail for people to take at home.
Wayne Channon, executive chairman of iosBio, told the Express: “It looks like we’re going to have booster vaccinations for quite some time to come and we have flu vaccinations every year.
“With our approach, there is no reason why you can’t have a thermally stable pill, or capsule, which contains the normal four strains for a flu vaccine plus one for Covid.
“We’ve had excellent results in animal trials on all strains.”
Scientists concentrated on injecting vaccines due to the need for speed in the pandemic but now iosBio is planning for a jab-free alternative.
Mr Channon continued: “When you look at the distribution centres we’ve had for Covid, it’s an industrial level. The rollout was even more expensive than buying the vaccine.
“With capsules, we would only be limited by the speed of production of the capsules. This is our objective. We want to send this in the mail.”
After previously working on oral vaccines for the Zika virus and others, the team developed a Covid vaccine pill in 2020 which was licensed to a US company that is now running human trials.
And now the company is working on a flu and Covid vaccine pill with the capsule using methods similar to the AstraZeneca jab.
It is using technology to make the vaccine thermally stable at room temperature. It is freeze-dried and encased in a capsule which ensures the vaccine is not destroyed in the stomach and can be delivered to the gut.
Some vaccines are already delivered via oral or nasal routes, including the oral polio vaccine which was taken as a drop on a sugar cube with a key challenge to get it through to the gut.
This allows it to be directly absorbed into the mucosal immune system, which provides protection at the main sites of infectious threat.
If proven to work in clinical trials, the vaccine pill could be far easier to distribute than the AstraZeneca and Pfizer jabs which require refrigeration.
IosBio’s technology, called OraPro, could also have a big impact in delivering vaccines in developing countries.
A Department of Health spokesman, reported the Express, said: “We continue to monitor vaccines in development globally and engage with the market as new vaccines and technologies gain approval.”