Just-in-time delivery is advantageous for production and distribution facilities of all sizes, including the tiny ones known as living cells. For example, living cells can be used to generate mRNA and encapsulate it in virus-like particles. Thus packaged, the mRNA may be shipped to other cells, including the body’s cells, which accept delivery of the mRNA and use it to guide production of key viral proteins.
Unlike DNA cargo, which may be integrated into the host genome, mRNA cargo limits genotoxic risks. However, mRNA is inherently unstable. When used as a vaccine format, mRNA poses challenges with respect to synthesis, stabilization, packaging, and delivery.
“We have adopted mRNA as a core technology,” says David O’Hagan, PhD, co-founder, president, and CEO, Esperovax. “[We] deliver it orally to reach the intestines, which house 70% of the body’s immune system. Our vaccines work in situ. We synthesize the mRNA moments before it reaches the small intestine immune cells, which then present the patient-built proteins/antigens to the immune system.
“Our proprietary oral vaccine approach should alleviate many of the limitations and logistical challenges faced by mRNA vaccine producers. And taking a pill or gummy is less intimidating than being poked with a needle. We expect this approach will lead to safer, more effective vaccines, and that it will reduce the fear of the vaccination process.”
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Sep 23, 2020, 08:30 ET
PLYMOUTH, Mich., Sept. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Esperovax, the leader in Egress RD™ Oral Biologics has been awarded $607,000 in funding from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to further studies into the feasibility of oral vaccine production and delivery.
Esperovax has developed a proprietary method for bioengineering probiotic yeast to deliver continuous and high concentrations of vaccine antigen in the gut. These antigens are delivered as enveloped, virus-like particles (eVLPs) directly into the lymphoid tissue of the intestinal mucosa, the innermost layer of the gastrointestinal tract, which may induce strong immune protection.
"Our oral vaccine approach is unlike anything available today, and could possibly bring greater efficacy, efficiency and safety," said Roger S. Newton, PhD, founder of Esperovax. "As the Northern Hemisphere enters another flu season, we look forward to applying our oral vaccines in the very near future to fight influenza and, potentially, a host of other illnesses and maladies."
Esperovax's biotech utilizes common baker's yeast to produce vaccines in less than two weeks. This technology means billions of doses could potentially be manufactured in less than a month. This oral vaccine will not require costly purification, cold storage or delivery devices (i.e. syringes), so each dose could be economically produced and self-administered via pill or edibles.
Added Newton: "With this new oral vaccine platform, Esperovax is poised to become the global leader in oral tablet and capsule vaccinations for some of the world's deadliest yet treatable diseases. That means saving countless lives. We're working hard to make that a reality."
BARDA is providing subject matter expertise and funds to Esperovax, for use in preclinical studies.
For more information, visit: https://esperovax.com/
This event is hosted by Ann Arbor SPARK.
[Traverse City, MI – August 10, 2020] Northern Michigan Angels (NMA) has invested $117,500 in Esperovax (https://esperovax.com/), a biotechnology company based in Plymouth, Michigan. The company has developed a novel oral vaccine platform that will enable large-scale production and distribution of vaccines at a fraction of the cost of current injection-based treatments.
Esperovax is currently in pre-clinical studies of its oral COVID-19 vaccine. Plans exist to apply its technology to an oral flu vaccine and other much-needed biologic treatments.
Vaccination is the most effective method for reducing and preventing human disease. Unfortunately, many vaccinations today can only be delivered through direct injection by a healthcare professional, which limits the number of patients that can be treated.
Injectable vaccines are expensive to produce, difficult to distribute, and potentially painful to administer, which complicates large-scale, global treatment programs. Esperovax looks to become the global leader in oral tablet/capsule vaccinations for some of the world's deadliest treatable diseases by leveraging its new oral vaccine platform.
Their oral vaccines will enable administration of billions of prescription-based doses annually, that can be delivered by mail and taken orally by the consumer without intervention by healthcare professionals. This platform will lead to the significant expansion of vaccination for the most vulnerable and in need, at a fraction of the cost for current methods.
"The NMA investment into Esperovax has significantly accelerated our plans to demonstrate the utility of our oral biologicals platform. We look forward to the continued support and guidance that the NMA team provides to our growing Company”, said David O’Hagan, CEO of Esperovax.
About Esperovax (https://esperovax.com/)
Esperovax is a pre-clinical-stage, privately-held biotechnology company focused on developing vaccines and other biologic treatments using its proprietary oral delivery platform. Esperovax has developed a proprietary method for bioengineering probiotic yeast to deliver continuous and high concentrations of vaccine antigen in the gut. These antigens are delivered in the form of enveloped virus-like particles (eVLPs) right to the lymphoid tissue of the small intestine, inducing strong immune protection. David O’Hagan-Ph.D., Esperovax Founder, President and CEO
About Northern Michigan Angels (https://www.northernmichiganangels.com/)
Northern Michigan Angels is a 501 c(6) non-profit organization whose mission is to help grow the economic base of the region through investment in scalable early stage companies, and to provide members a compelling financial return on their time commitment and invested capital. Since its founding in 2012 NMA members have invested over $5.5M in 35 early stage companies, several located in Traverse City, MI. Investments have been in companies representing a broad range of industries, all located in the State of Michigan.
A total of 58 early-stage tech companies are receiving direct investments or loans from the state’s Tech Startup Stabilization Fund to assist them during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced today. Announced in mid-April, the Tech Startup Stabilization Fund has been administered by ID Ventures in Detroit to support early-stage tech companies in Michigan with fewer than 50 employees and a demonstrated need for support due to the economic impacts of the pandemic.
“This outbreak presented unprecedented challenges for businesses of all sizes over the past three months, and we are proud to help support Michigan’s small businesses to not only survive COVID-19, but continue innovating long after,” said Mark A. Burton, CEO of MEDC. “The technologies and discoveries these small businesses are pursuing will have an invaluable impact on our ability to strengthen and rebuild our state’s economy over the coming months as we work to enable economic prosperity across all corners of our state.”
The Tech Startup Stabilization Fund prioritized support for early-stage companies that are headquartered in Michigan and that demonstrated a strong customer value proposition, comprised a team with proven execution capability, and pre-COVID-19 were on a path for an additional round of funding, in addition to other criteria. Support through the fund ranged from $10,000 to $125,000 depending on demonstrated need and allowed recipients to retain their workforce, advance vital high-tech research initiatives and support operating costs, in addition to meeting other critical needs.
Among the 58 high-tech companies to receive support through the fund, many represent regionally diverse areas in the state, including Houghton and Hancock in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Grand Rapids, Jackson and Troy. While 53% of the companies represent the advanced information technology sector, the range of industries represented includes life sciences, mobility and advanced manufacturing – all key industries within the MEDC’s overall strategic plan.
Based out of Ann Arbor, for example, the mobility company Bedestrian provides a last mile driverless delivery system, offering autonomous, robotic deliveries within and around hospital and healthcare facilities. With support from the Tech Startup Stabilization Fund, Bedestrian has been able to sustain the economic impacts of the outbreak while leveraging its autonomous delivery vehicle to support frontline workers and accelerating the development of its solution to meet the delivery needs for hospitals throughout Michigan communities. In doing so, Bedestrian is minimizing the amount of person-to-person contact and mitigating the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus.
“I’m very glad that Bedestrian is among the roster of innovative companies to receive an award from the Tech Startup Stabilization Fund. And I’m thankful to the ID Ventures team’s efficient administration of this fund at this critical time,” said Bedestrian CEO Shadi T. Mere. “This fund shows that Michigan is responding proactively, not only to weather COVID-19, but to help innovative startups emerge stronger and spur the next economic growth cycle.”
President/Co-Founder David O’Hagan PhD, Chief Science Officer/Co- Founder Savita Nikam and PhD & Co-Founder Roger Newton PhD began Esperovax in 2018 to create a platform for the development of rapid to manufacture, safe and inexpensive vaccines. Esperovax has developed a proprietary EgressRDTM method of bioengineering probiotic yeast to deliver continuous and high concentrations of vaccine antigen in the small intestine. These antigens are delivered in the form of enveloped virus like particles (eVLPs) right to the lymphoid tissue of gut mucosa, inducing immune protection.