A COVID-19 vaccine that you drink? That’s what a company expanding in Allentown is working on

December 3, 2020

Pharmaceutical executives Kyle Flanigan and Garry Morefield first met in 2011 on the sidelines of their daughters’ gymnastics program.“As parents sitting on the sideline watching kids do death-defying feats, we started talking to avert our eyes from what could have been catastrophe,” Flanigan said.

“That’s where the partnership began initially.” Today, the Lehigh Valley duo have their eyes firmly fixed on developing and producing an oral COVID-19 vaccine that people would drink, a formulation that wouldn’t require the same cold storage requirements as the injectable vaccines that appear to be speeding toward market release.

Toward those efforts, the company they co-founded in 2013, US Specialty Formulations LLC, joined with state officials Thursday to announce plans to invest more than $5 million and create nearly 100 high-paying jobs at a 41,000-square-foot facility at 101 E. Lexington St. in Allentown.

USSF and VaxForm LLC, a vaccine consulting firm headed by Morefield, have been partnering on the vaccine since earlier this year, a formulation that produced antibodies in 100% of mice in preclinical trials. Flanigan, USSF CEO, said the human trial is to begin in February.

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