Symvivo CEO and founder Alexander Graves told the vaccine candidate has a scientific and compliance benefit. He explained in a telephone interview on Monday that by taking the vaccine orally, it allows for a mucosal response in the intestine that can trigger signals to eliminate viruses in the body.

He says this gene therapy platform delivers plasmid DNA that enables a patient’s own cells to produce therapeutic proteins that work to clear harmful virus particles from healthy tissues.

"Your mucosal immune response is really the first line of defense against viruses and other infectious diseases, and we have demonstrated the ability in our preclinical models to produce a mucosal response in addition to traditional systemic immune responses that other vaccines can induce," Graves said.

As an oral capsule that can be kept at room temperature, Graves says bacTRL-Spike could actually eliminate supply logistics around a COVID-19 vaccine.

"When you could envision shipping this product [to] everybody's home around the world so that people can take it without medical oversight, we can actually get a viable vaccine solution globally," Graves said.

If the first phase of the clinical trials proves that bacTRL-Spike is safe to use, Graves said the company will then be able to evaluate whether an effective immune response against SARS-CoV-2 is generated.

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