Biotech entrepreneur, doctor, and owner of the L.A. Times, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong is working to develop an oral pill to fight COVID.
It works differently than the vaccine shots which target the spike-like proteins on the outside of the Coronavirus cell; their pill works to neutralize the globe-like shape in the middle of the virus.
‘To have a vaccine that’s room temperature, that could be a pill, is life-changing,’ one of the investigators, Dr Tara Seery, of the Chan Soon-Shiong Research Institute for Medicine, told CBS Los Angeles.
Since a pill wouldn’t have to be stored at freezing or sub-zero temperatures, it could have huge ramifications for poorer countries struggling with the vaccine roll-out.
Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong and his team of researchers are testing whether oral pills could work in conjunction with – or even better than – vaccines approved by the FDA. Dr. Soon-Chong is quick to add that we may need a combination of an injection and oral vaccine to beat the virus, however.
‘By giving a jab, we hope to develop T cells all around your body,’ he said in the interview.’And by giving orally, we protect the mucus membranes, the gut and hopefully the nose, the mouth, because that’s how the virus comes in. It doesn’t come in through your blood.’
In trials now, there’s no word yet on when it might go to the FDA for emergency approval.