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Bharat Biotech’s intranasal Covid-19 vaccine enters phase I trials

G Naga Sridhar Hyderabad | Updated on March 08, 2021

Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech Krishna Ella   -  The Hindu

Company owns the rights to distribute the vaccine in all markets except the US, Japan and Europe

Vaccine maker Bharat Biotech has commenced phase I clinical trials of its intranasal, single dose Covid-19 vaccine in few locations across the country.

According to reliable sources, the trials have just commenced in hospitals in Hyderabad, Nagpur, Patna and Chennai.

An interim analysis of results will be undertaken by the company in 42 days of the administration of the first dose of vaccine to the volunteers. About 150 volunteers are expected to participate in the trials and they have already been identified and screened, sources said.

Also read: Covid-19 vaccine: Covaxin shows interim clinical efficacy of 81% in phase-3 results, says Bharat Biotech

As Bharat Biotech had recently announced 82 per cent efficacy in its Covid-19 vaccine candidate Covaxin, there has been growing interest in the nasal vaccine being developed by it.

Also read: Bharat Bio plans Phase-I trials of nasal Covid vaccine by Feb-March

Last September, Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech had entered into a licensing agreement with Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis for a novel chip retrovirus, single-dose intranasal vaccine for Covid-19. Bharat Biotech owns the rights to distribute the vaccine in all markets except the US, Japan and Europe.

Krishna M Ella, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharat Biotech, has been quite confident about the ‘strengths’ of his company in the intranasal vaccine segment and the ‘advantages’ of a single dose nasal vaccine as against two-dose injection-based Covid vaccines. If successful, the company hopes to produce one billion doses.

An intranasal vaccine is perceived to be a better option for Covid prevention on account of its ease of administration and the speed in covering a large population.

Bharat Biotech had earlier said its intra-nasal vaccine candidate has shown ‘unprecedented’ levels of protection in mice studies.

Published on March 08, 2021

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