Bharat Biotech to develop intranasal coronavirus vaccine
Vaccine maker Bharat Biotech is developing a unique intranasal vaccine for Coronavirus.
An international collaboration of virologists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the vaccine companies FluGen along with Bharat Biotech has begun the development and testing of a unique vaccine against Covid-19 called CoroFlu, Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech announced on Friday.
CoroFlu will build on the backbone of FluGen's flu vaccine candidate known as M2SR. Based on an invention by UW-Madison virologists and FluGen co-founders Yoshihiro Kawaoka and Gabriele Neumann, M2SR is a self-limiting version of the influenza virus that induces an immune response against the flu.
Kawaoka's lab will insert gene sequences from SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19, into M2SR so that the new vaccine will also induce immunity against the coronavirus.
Refinement of the CoroFlu vaccine concept and testing in laboratory animal models at UW-Madison is expected to take three to six months. Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad, India will then begin production scale-up for safety and efficacy testing in humans. CoroFlu could be in human clinical trials by the fall of 2020.
"Bharat Biotech will manufacture the vaccine, conduct clinical trials, and prepare to produce almost 300 million doses of vaccine for global distribution. Under the collaboration agreement, FluGen will transfer its existing manufacturing processes to Bharat Biotech to enable the company to scale up production and produce the vaccine for clinical trials," said Dr. Raches Ella, Head of Business Development, Bharat Biotech.
Bharat Biotech has so far commercialized 16 vaccines, including a vaccine developed against the H1N1 flu that caused the 2009 pandemic. IANS