Oral delivery of vaccines

Researchers in Samir Mitragotri’s lab have developed a platform technology that can deliver vaccines through oral administration. The technology features ionic liquids, salts that exist in the liquid phase at room temperature, that preserve protein efficacy during transit through the digestive system. The ionic liquids also enhance permeation across the intestinal epithelium, leading to high protein bioavailability. The team hopes to work with industry and VC partners to enable a cost-effective, quickly deployable, and patient-administered COVID-19 vaccine.

Vaccination is a well-known efficient and cost-effective strategy to prevent the development and transmission of a wide variety of infectious diseases. Whereby most currently available vaccines are delivered by injection, oral vaccines have previously proven effective in treating and protecting against mucosally transmitted pathogens. Currently, a major obstacle in the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) is the lack of a vaccine. At the same time, delivering the vaccine to hundreds of millions of patients in a rapid, cost effective way also remains a challenge. Orally administered vaccines have several attractive features including high compliance, ease of distribution, low cost, and minimal patient-healthcare provider contact.

The Mitragotri lab sees a path forward to an orally administered COVID-19 vaccine, which will not only represent a paradigm shift in how vaccines are administered but also provide critical tools in the fight against the global pandemic. This novel technology has been tested in rodents and pigs to safely administer biologics with favorable efficacy and high-level systemic bioavailability and has demonstrated the ability to generate a strong immune response via delivery to the intestine.

Intellectual Property Status: Patent(s) Pending