What you need to know about Bharat Biotech’s intranasal COVID-19 vaccine ‘BBV154’?
Hyderabad: Bharat Biotech on Friday announced that it will begin the phase1 clinical trials of its new intranasal vaccine for the novel coronavirus (
SARS-CoV-2) in February-March this year. The development came days after the Hyderabad-based firm received the
Drugs Controller General of India’s (DCGI) nod for its COVID-19 vaccine
Covaxin. Covaxin, which is India’s first indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccine, has been given restricted (emergency use) approval for use along with
Serum Institute’s Covishield developed by the
Oxford University in collaboration with
Earlier in September,
Bharat Biotech announced that it has partnered with
Washington University School of Medicine in
St Louis for a novel
intranasal coronavirus vaccine (BBV154). The phase 1 human clinical trials of the nasal COVID-19 vaccine will be
conducted in India and
Saint Louis University’s Vaccine and
Treatment Evaluation Unit. And here’s what we know so far about the company’s intranasal COVID-19 vaccine.
BBV154 to be a single-dose regimen
BBV154 (a novel adenovirus vectored, intranasal vaccine for COVID-19) will be a
single-dose regimen. According to the company, an intranasal vaccine stimulates broad immune responses at the site of infection (in the
nasal mucosa), which is essential for blocking both infection and transmission of the
Another advantage of an intranasal vaccine is that it is simple to administer - the jab is administered to a person via the nose and does not require a needle or trained healthcare workers to give the vaccine. This also means eliminating needle-associated risks such as injuries and infections. The vaccine is also ideally suitable for children and adults.
“An intranasal vaccine will not only be simple to administer but reduce the use of medical consumables such as needles, syringes, etc., significantly impacting the overall cost of a vaccination drive,” Dr Krishna Ella, Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech, had said.
“One drop of vaccine in each of the nostrils is sufficient,” he had said.
Demonstrates protective efficacy
The company said its intranasal vaccine candidate has demonstrated unprecedented levels of protection in mice studies - with the technology and data having been published in the
prestigious scientific journal Cell and in an editorial in Nature.
“Mice and hamsters immunized with a single dose of
ChAd-SARS-CoV-2-S conferred superior protection against
SARS-CoV-2 challenge, more so than one or two intramuscular immunizations of the same vaccine and dose. Post-challenge with SARS-CoV-2, viral clearance was observed in both lower and upper airways. Thus, intranasal immunization of ChAd-SARS-CoV-2-S can create an immune response in the nose, which is the point of entry for the virus - thereby protecting against disease, infection, and transmission,” the company said in a statement.
Bharat Biotech has successfully completed
enrollment of 25,800 volunteers for the crucial, phase 3 trials of Covaxin developed indigenously in partnership with the
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) -
National Institute of Virology (NIV). The vaccine innovator said
Covaxin is a highly purified and
inactivated 2-dose COVID-19 vaccine, manufactured in a
Vero cell manufacturing platform with an excellent safety track record of more than
300 million doses.