Israel has struck a partnership with the United States based pharma company NRx Pharmaceuticals for completion of trials and commercialization of the Covid-19 vaccine that has been developed in Israel called BriLife.
A memorandum of understanding was signed between NRx and the Israel Institute for Biological Research on Monday, and the two parties said that the partnership will include the worldwide development, manufacturing and marketing rights of the Israeli vaccine which is undergoing early stage cli8nical trials in Israel in recent months.
Arrangements for rapid Phase 2b/3 testing in Israel, Georgia and Ukraine have been made by the company, NRx said. Tens of thousands of volunteers will be participating in the trials of the vaccine, said Israel’s Defense Ministry which is tasked with overseeing the biological research institute.
Shares in NRx were up about 3.4% to $11.90 on Nasdaq on the news.
The technology used for making the BriLife Covid-19 vaccine is different from mRNA vaccines produced by companies like Pfizer. The BriLife is a self-propagating and live-virus vaccine unlike the mRNA vaccines. The Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer are currently being used in the very successful vaccination campaign of Israel.
NRx said that the new Israeli vaccine will will initially be delivered via injection.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, all of the vaccines that are currently authorized for usage in the United States and some other countries do not use a live virus.
There have been some voices in Israel that have raised questions about the necessity of the locally developed vaccine to be used in the country since the country has already chosen to make mass imports of the Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine shots.
However the government authorities have argued that it was important for keep the local vaccine project running so that it can be ensured that the country would eventually have a locally made vaccine.
“I anticipate that with this agreement, we will be able to complete the development of the vaccine and enable Israel to produce vaccines independently, because as we have seen recently – the coronavirus is not going anywhere,” said Defense Minister Benny Gantz.
Technical assistance will be provided by said the Israeli research institute against them receiving royalty and milestone payments for the use of their intellectual property, NRx said. The company has also said that it has already committed in the memorandum of understanding to supplying all the doses of the locally made vaccine for the entire population of Israel.
(Adapted from PharmaLive.com)