Hyderabad-based pharma giant, Bharat Biotech, entered into licensing agreement with the Washington University School of Medicine, in manufacturing the vaccine against Covid-19. The Washington University is manufacturing nasal spray vaccine basing on the chimpanzee adenovirus.
The agreement will give rights to Bharat Biotech to supply the intranasal vaccine to all the countries in the world except US, Japan and Europe.
The Phase-1 clinical trials of this vaccine will be conducted at St. Louis University and after obtaining all the necessary regulatory approvals, the further stages of clinical trials will be pursued in India.
Later, the pharma giant will begin production on a large-scale. Bharat Biotech chairman and MD Dr Krishna Ella said that their expertise in manufacturing the vaccine and distributing the same will help in taking it closer to the people.
He said that initially, they had set a target to prepare 1 crore doses of the vaccine and that manufacturing the nasal spray vaccine was much easier than the injection-type vaccine. There will be no need of medical consumables like syringes and needles, he pointed out and added that it would also reduce the expenditure of distributing the vaccine.
Attempts are on to distribute the nasal vaccine as a single dose and this will help in making the vaccine reach more people soon, a professor in the Washington University said.
Apart from preventing contracting the virus, the nasal spray vaccine will also check the spread of the virus. As the spray is administered in the nose, it will get into the throat too and prevent propagation of the virus in both the organs. None of the vaccine candidates being prepared in the entire world will function the way the nasal vaccine does, said medical experts.
Bharat Biotech is already developing Covaxin, an indigenous vaccine against Covid-19, in collaboration with ICMR-National Institute of Virology and it is in the Phase-II human clinical trials.