Using Algae to fight COVID-19

A race for the vaccine

COVID-19 is the biggest event of the year, with a huge effect on the economy and health of the world. This virus will eventually have to be defeated by a vaccine that should be available within the next 12 to 18 months.

There is a race between at least 83 vaccine manufacturers to see who will get to market first and who will have the most effective vaccine. Transalgae has developed an algal-based platform for the oral administration of products for human pharmaceuticals, animal health and crop protection. The Israeli company plans to place a piece of the viral protein in its algae, grow the algae in commercial quantities and then give an algae pill that will contain the vaccine.

Transalgae uses a genetically modified algae to make the ear protein and provide a natural encapsulation. The reason for receiving an insulin injection or a COVID-19 vaccine in the form of an injection is that it is difficult to protect the protein in question from the acids in our stomach. In addition to protecting the protein, algae also make the vaccine.


What are the advantages of oral administration?

  1. People prefer to swallow a pill rather than receive an injection.
  2. Administration is considerably simplified. There is no need for a nurse or other qualified practitioner.
  3. Our bodies ingest many types of bacteria and viruses every day and our digestive system is designed to eliminate them. An injection presents an increased risk of accidental contamination due to the manufacturing process.
  4. Algae cells do not attract mammalian bacteria and viruses. Ordinary vaccines use mammalian cells for their production and these bacteria are dangerous to humans.
  5. Poor countries do not have the refrigeration capacity we have and suffer from a shortage of qualified health professionals. For these countries, an oral vaccine is the difference between having a vaccine and not having a vaccine.

Read Daniel Gressel’s full article for RealClear Health to learn more about the process of turning algae into a vaccine.


Transalgae is currently looking for a pharmaceutical partner who has this capability in addition to helping us with testing, regulation, compliance and distribution.


Discover other uses of algae in the industry with Eranova’s products.