COVID-19 Oral Vaccine and Antibody Booster: B. subtilis Spores, Biotechnology Breakthrough by DreamTec

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HONG KONG, Jan. 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Vaccines have been a trending topic ever since the coronavirus outbreak two years ago. DreamTec Research Limited (DreamTec, http://www.dreamtec.hk) has its major breakthrough in developing a COVID-19 oral vaccine. In its recently published peer-reviewed paper in an international medical journal Vaccines, which demonstrates Bacillus subtilis (B. subtilis) spores, expressing a SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor binding domain (sRBD) on their surface can then produce neutralizing antibodies. DreamTec conducted a pilot study for a new COVID-19 oral vaccine which is able to elicit an immune response in both mice and human volunteers without adverse effects (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT05057923).

“We set out to make a COVID-19 oral vaccine so that it could be safe, effective and easy to administer,” said Dr. Kwong, Chief Scientific Officer of DreamTec. The use of B. subtilis antibody booster has drawn worldwide attention as it can be stored at room temperature and remain stable for at least six months, as cited in British media Clinical Trials Arena. Dr. Kwong added that spike proteins do not enter into the bloodstream.

A: Bacillus subtilis spores produced by DreamTec; B: A human pilot test: the level of neutralizing antibody against spike protein is significantly increased after 42 days; C: Publication in Vaccines
A: Bacillus subtilis spores produced by DreamTec; B: A human pilot test: the level of neutralizing antibody against spike protein is significantly increased after 42 days; C: Publication in Vaccines

B. subtilis is chosen based on its ability to survive human gut microbiome conditions by forming spores. It is also recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS). As the ability of traditional vaccines is undermined whenever there is a variant, Dr. Kwong revealed, “We made our current constructs in a matter of months, so if needed we can do the same in the future with other possible SARS-CoV-2 variants, such as Omicron.”

“We plan to engage with industry partners to conduct pre-clinical studies to evaluate safety concerns for human use,” said Dr. Kwong. DreamTec envisions the oral antibody booster being manufactured in forms of capsules which contain billions of B. subtilis spores. The transgenic spores are then released in the small intestine, where a mucosal specific-immune response is generated. This allows for a safe and effective approach to the vaccinated individuals with for adding immune protection against SARS-CoV-2.

DreamTec: Dr. Kwong, Dr. Sung and Dr. Wu and HKMU: Prof. Sze
DreamTec: Dr. Kwong, Dr. Sung and Dr. Wu and HKMU: Prof. Sze

Founded by Dr. Kwong Wai Yeung, DreamTec is a biotechnology company which develops cutting-edge biotechnologies including expression of valuable recombinant proteins, RNA, and stem cells cultivation.