OurCrowd, the world’s largest crowdfunding venture investment platform, has announced it would lead a $12 million funding round in MigVax Corporation – a startup that is developing a COVID-19 vaccine.
MigVax is affiliated with the Migal Galilee Research Institute, is pioneering the effort to develop Israel’s human vaccine against COVID-19. Migal has previously developed a vaccine against infectious bronchitis virus, a coronavirus strain which causes bronchial disease affecting poultry. According to OurCrowd, the effectiveness of the poultry vaccine has been proven in animal trials carried out at Israel’s Veterinary institute. MigVax is said to be using the methods learned from the existing vaccine to develop a new oral human vaccine against COVID-19.
Jon Medved, CEO of OurCrowd, said they are humbled by the opportunity to invest in this company:
“The race for a COVID-19 vaccine is about saving countless lives, and we are grateful to be able to support this important effort,” Medved said.
David Zigdon, CEO of the Migal Galilee Research Institute, said the experiments carried out so far indicate it will be safe for use in immune-suppressed recipients.
“It uses a protein vector that can form and secrete a chimeric soluble protein which carries the viral antigen into tissue and causes the production of antibodies against the virus by the immune system. We are now working to adjust our generic vaccine system to COVID-19. Using a fermentation process, MigVax aims to have the material ready for clinical trials within a few months.”
OurCrowd Venture Partner Morris Laster, who is leading the investment, explained they believe the vaccine has already a good level of safety and efficiency in animal models and thus holds a higher chance of achieving a meaningful immune response.
A webinar has been scheduled for later today (12:30 PM ET) where Zigdon will talk about the COVID-19 vaccine trials.
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