With the coronavirus spreading rapidly, several biotech companies have been at work for months to develop a vaccine that would slow down and even put an end to the pandemic and its effects. A St. Louis based biotech startup, Precision Virologics, which is known for developing adenovirus-based vaccines, and India-based vaccine manufacturing giant Bharat Biotech, have obtained rights from the Washington University School of Medicine to develop a single dose intranasal COVID-19 vaccine. While Precision Virologics license is limited to the USA, Europe, and Japan, Bharat Biotech’s license encompasses the rest of the global markets.
The ability to accomplish effective immunization with a single nasal dose is a major advantage, offering broader reach and easier administration. An effective nasal dose not only protects against COVID-19, but it also prevents the spread of the disease by directly targeting the cells that line the nose and throat. – said David T. Curiel, Interim CEO, Precision Virologics
The vaccine, having already been tested on mice, has shown a high success rate. It is proving its ability to provide complete protection in just one dose. The results have so far shown one dose of the vaccine administered intranasally blocks the virus at the very site of the infection and clears up the upper and lower airways off the virus completely.
The first phase of this vaccine will take place in Washington’s University‘s Vaccine Treatment Evaluation Unit. Taking on from this lead, Bharat Biotech has planned to carry forward Phase 2 of the clinical trials in India once they have received regulatory approvals. They have further committed to manufacturing the vaccine on a large scale at their GMP facility in Genome Valley, Bangalore.
To add to this is Bharat Biotech’s own homegrown vaccine. They have been working on the COVID-19 vaccine, named COVAXIN. With plans to begin their third stage of clinical trials next month, COVAXIN has proven effective in the first two phases. Bharat Biotech hopes to test the vaccine on at least 25,000 people.
Our experience in viral vaccines, manufacturing capabilities, and distribution continue to be our strong suit in ensuring safe, efficacious, and affordable vaccines. It is prudent for Bharat to be involved in diverse but tenable projects to provide a much-needed vaccine against COVID-19 reaches all citizens of the world. – said Dr. Krishna Ella, Chairman & MD, Bharat Biotech
In addition to aiming directly at finding a cure for the coronavirus, developing an intranasal administration form of the vaccine also aids the vision to be able to provide a more cost-effective solution overall. With the use of an intranasal vaccine, the need for medical supplies such as needles and syringes can be reduced and/or even eliminated. They have worked at creating a vaccine that is easy to administer and reduces the use of medical consumables, the overall cost, and is effective in its treatment.
Since the pandemic breakout, several biotech companies have worked tirelessly to find a solution to the virus. With a few vaccinations seeing higher success rates and crossing different clinical trial levels, the hope for a quick and effective solution is swiftly becoming a reality. With licensing agreements such as this one, clinical development is taking place more smoothly and rapidly. With Precision Virologics and Bharat Biotech working on the new vaccine, the hope and probability of successful clinical trials, quick production, and distribution in markets are higher and almost impossible to overlook.