Bharat Biotech to produce a Billion dose of COVID Nasal Vaccine with Washington School of Medicine

Updated: Oct 3, 2020

Shirin Gupta

28th September 2020

Bharat Biotech, based in Hyderabad, on 23rd September 2020, announced that it would be producing a billion doses of the Intranasal Adenovirus Vaccine in collaboration with the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.

Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech, Dr Krishna Ella (Source: The Hindu)

The leading Biotech Company of India has come to an agreement with the Washington University that the vaccine that is being developed by the latter will be produced and marketed by the former. As reported by Clinical Trials Arena, Bharat Biotech will also be conducting trials of the vaccine concerning the agreement. This agreement is expected to overcome the possible difficulties in making the vaccines available to different markets like the high price of the vaccine or shortage of personnel to administer the doses to the required population.

In a press release issued by the Biotech company, published as a report by The Hindu, it is mentioned that they hold the right to manufacture and distribute the vaccines in all markets except for the US, Japan, and Europe. Describing the vaccine in the announcement of the agreement, the company said it is a novel chimp-adenovirus. This single-dose intranasal vaccine was found to be effective in preventing infection in mice susceptible to the novel coronavirus.

They further mentioned that unprecedented levels of protection in mice studies, the technology and data have been recently published in the prestigious scientific journal Cell and an editorial in Nature. The phase one human trials will be taking place in the Saint Louis University‘s Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit, while Bharat Biotech will be taking over the further stages of clinical trials in India on receiving the required regulatory approval.

In the press release, Bharat Biotech further mentioned that they would be taking over a very large portion of manufacturing the vaccine in their facility located in Genome Valley, Hyderabad. In an interview with The Hindu, Chairman and Managing Director Dr Krishna Ella said, "we are proud to collaborate on this innovative vaccine. We envision that we will scale this vaccine to 1 billion doses."

According to Bharat Biotech, as reported by Indian Express, an intranasal vaccine will reduce the usage of consumables like syringes and needles, thereby reducing the buying cost of the vaccine for the common population. This could be a major breakthrough in the global fight against this massive pandemic and could lead to adding a new dimension to the people's lives all over the world, helping them inch towards the return to normalcy. At present, another inactivated vaccine being developed with ICMR-National Institute of Virology (NIV), is in Phase II human clinical trials, said Bharat Biotech.

(Source: Indian Express, The Hindu, Clinical Trials Arena)

Edited by Satvik Pandey

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