Stabilitech takes next step in race for a vaccine, announces Biocell as manufacturer for OraPro-COVID-19


Burges Hill, UK, 12 June 2020

STABILITECH BIOPHARMA LTD (“Stabilitech”), a UK biotechnology company developing next generation vaccines and biopharmaceuticals, has announced today a partnership with Biocell Corporation (New Zealand) to manufacture its oral coronavirus vaccine, OraPro-COVID-19.

The Auckland-based company has 30 years’ experience in manufacturing viral vaccines, with its recent acquisition of Living Cell Technology’s GMP compliant cell culture facility providing dedicated premises for the manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines.

“After a successful recent fundraising round, this signed agreement represents a crucial next step for OraPro-COVID-19,” said Stabilitech’s Chairman Wayne Channon. “It brings us closer to providing a vaccine that gives both mucosal and systemic immunity to COVID-19. This will target the virus exactly where we catch it: in the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, throat and even the eyes. By taking this approach, we believe OraPro-COVID-19 could prove to provide the fastest route to widespread global immunity, turning the tide on the pandemic.”

Human trials for Stabilitech’s potential breakthrough vaccine are scheduled for August of this year. If successful, the deal signed with Biocell means that a vaccine could be available by the end of 2020.

“We are delighted to be working with Stabilitech to manufacture a vaccine for COVID-19,” explained Biocell’s CEO Nidish Nair. “Our team includes three award winning scientists, as well as a host of other highly skilled technical employees, who will all be working to enhance technology transfer and process development for Ora-Pro-COVID-19. The partnership also represents a great opportunity for New Zealand to play a part in the race for a COVID-19 vaccine, further highlighting our ability to undertake internationally recognised research and manufacturing projects.”

While there are over 100 other companies and institutions working towards what UN Secretary-General António Guterres dubbed at the recent GAVI World Vaccine Summit as “the people’s vaccine”, reaching the manufacturing stage is an indicator of Ora-Pro-COVID-19’s potential. The deal also shines a light on the great strides that smaller biopharma companies around the world are making in the race for a COVID-19 vaccine.