Akers Biosciences, a developer of rapid health information technologies, announced with its partner, Premas Biotech, the initiation of animal studies for its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate in India. Premas has completed the manufacturing process for the VLP (virus-like particle) vaccine candidate, including three antigens from SARS-CoV-2. The 4-week test is expected to be placebo-controlled, blinded, and randomized, in mice. The test will first seek to evaluate safety in the rodent model and secondly examine immune response dose titration. Premas plans to administer the test across different dose amounts, including amounts that would apply to humans.
Prabuddha Kundu, co-founder and managing director at Premas Biotech, commented, “We are excited that we have been able to manufacture and characterize the VLP containing three main proteins from the SARS-CoV-2 virus. We are now moving ahead for this animal study using mice to analyze the candidate’s safety and immunogenicity. We believe it will be the first case of a three antigen VLP being dosed in an animal for SARS CoV-2.”
Premas is also currently engaged in communications with regulatory authorities in both India and the United States. Data from this study is expected in approximately six weeks.
Concurrently with the initiation of this trial, Akers has determined that it will cease shipping its PIFA Heparin or Platelet Factor 4 Rapid Assay products and will no longer focus on the development and supply of rapid, point of care screening and testing products.
Christopher Schreiber, executive chairman of Akers, stated, “The initiation of animal studies is an important milestone for us with our partner, Premas. Concurrently, with the initiation of this trial, the board of Akers believed it would be in the best interest of stockholders to cease Akers’ screening and testing product line of business and focus its resources on other strategic priorities that are currently being evaluated.”
Premas Biotech develops novel & transformational technologies and partners with global biopharmaceutical companies to build and develop novel biotherapeutic & vaccine candidates. Premas’ key focus areas are infectious diseases, cancer, metabolic disorders, and inflammation.
Akers Biosciences is pursuing the development of a recently acquired license to a coronavirus vaccine candidate. Akers has also previously announced that it had identified the hemp and minor cannabinoid sectors as promising adjacent opportunities that could benefit Akers’ existing facility and its core competencies.