Human trials of intranasal COVID-19 vaccine to begin soon in India: Harsh Vardhan

Human trials of intranasal COVID-19 vaccine to begin soon in India: Harsh Vardhan

Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech may soon be able to initiate late-stage clinical trials of the intranasal vaccine for coronavirus once the regulatory approval is in place, said Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.

The Serum Institute of India has begun manufacturing an intranasal, live-attenuated vaccine candidate for SARS-CoV-2 named CDX-005 (CodaVax-COVID) in collaboration with the biotechnology company Codagenix, said Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.

Codagenix had recently said that the vaccine has completed preclinical animal studies successfully and expects to initiate a phase 1 first-in-human clinical trial in the UK by the end of 2020.

Bharat Biotech has recently signed a licensing agreement with Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, Missouri, United States to manufacture a single-dose intranasal vaccine for the coronavirus. The intranasal vaccine has shown very positive effects in mice, according to Bharat Biotech. The company said an intranasal vaccine will not only be simpler to administer but will reduce the use of medical consumables such as needles and syringes, thus bringing down the cost of the immunisation programme.

At present, the COVID-19 vaccines closest to the finish line are designed to be injected into the arm. However, researchers are looking at whether they can bring better protection from inoculations that fight the virus at its point of attack- the nose and mouth.

Currently, there are no intranasal COVID-19 vaccine under clinical trial in India, clarified Vardhan.