An Israeli company working on a COVID-19 vaccine will begin human trials this summer, a senior company official said on Wednesday.

MigVax, an affiliate of the Migal Galilee Research Institute, will conduct safety and efficacy assessment in rodents starting next month.

Phase 1 of clinical trials in humans will start during the summer and last six to nine months, said Professor Itamar Shalit, senior MigVax researcher and director, during a webinar hosted by the Israeli crowdfunding investment platform OurCrowd, as reported by The Jerusalem Post.

The startup is working to adapt a vaccine against infectious bronchitis virus (IBV)—a coronavirus strain causing bronchial disease in poultry—for human use.

According to The Jerusalem Post, “MigVax researchers aim to adapt the vaccine for the avian coronavirus into a new oral sub-unit human vaccine against COVID-19, based on their great genetic similarity and identical infection mechanism. Except for some required genetic adjustments, researchers say the same vaccination concepts should apply in humans.”

MigVax said it will be possible to quickly and inexpensively manufacture millions of doses of the potential vaccine, which is made using bacterial fermentation. Since it does not include the virus itself, researchers said it will also be safe to use on immune-compromised patients and has fewer risks of side effects.

On Wednesday, MigVax announced that it had secured a $12 million investment led by OurCrowd to help accelerate efforts to develop the vaccine.

Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision

One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.

JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.

Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.