BioLingus and its South Korean partners, CHA Vaccine Institute and PanGen Biotech, have received research funds from the Research Investment for Global Health Technology Fund (RIGHT Fund). This is to support the development of a needle-free COVID-19 vaccine. It is taken in the form of a tablet that is placed under the tongue and absorbed via the oral mucous membrane. South Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare, Korean life science companies, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are involved in the RIGHT Fund.
BioLingus will provide the formulations for the sublingual vaccine within the context of this project. CHA Vaccine Institute will provide the adjuvant, while PanGen Biotech will provide the antigen. BioLingus’ CEO Yves Decadt commented in a press release: “We are very excited about this project with the potential to be a game-changer in how COVID vaccines can be administered in the future.”
In a video interview released on the company’s website, Decadt explains that BioLingus discovered the way to stabilize the biological molecules of the vaccine from observations of plant seeds, which is why it has been named SEED. This technology enables immunological active substances to be administered orally, which in turn means that they can be transported directly to the lymphatic system. According to Decadt, this can improve the efficacy almost 500-fold. This can significantly reduce the dose administered and thus the cost. Additionally, there are fewer side effects and infections due to contaminated needles. Furthermore, the vaccine does not require a cold chain when administered in tablet form. According to Decadt, this is all especially beneficial to poorer countries in regions with a hot climate.