MigVax is an affiliate of the MIGAL Galilee Research Institute, in Kiryat Shemona, which previously developed a vaccine for infectious bronchitis virus – a coronavirus strain affecting poultry. David Zigdon, the institute’s CEO, said that “experiments we have carried out so far show that because the vaccine does not include the virus itself, it will be safe to use in immune-suppressed recipients, and has fewer chances of side effects.
“It uses a protein vector that can form and secrete a chimeric soluble protein which carries the viral antigen into tissue and causes the production of antibodies against the virus by the immune system,” added Zigdon. “We are now working to adjust our generic vaccine system to COVID-19. Using a fermentation process, MigVax aims to have the material ready for clinical trials within a few months.”
There are currently over 70 COVID-19 vaccine candidates in development worldwide, according to the World Economic Forum. Five are in preliminary human-testing stages. Yet most experts agree that a safe, effective option will not be found before the end of 2020.
OurCrowd, which already invests in a raft of Israeli medtech platforms, believes it has found a leading candidate to prevent the spread of the virus, which has killed over 170,000 people to date.
“We are humbled by the opportunity to invest in this company, which means so much to so many people,” said OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved. “The race for a COVID-19 vaccine is about saving countless lives, and we are grateful to be able to support this important effort.”