Hyderabad: With iNCOVACC becoming the world’s first intranasal Covid-19 vaccine to receive emergency use authorisation (EUA) as a primary vaccine as well as a heterologous booster for those aged 18 years and above, Bharat Biotech is now working on developing variant-specific versions of the vaccine.
“Despite the lack of demand for vaccines, we continued product development in intranasal vaccines to ensure that we are well-prepared for the future. We have also initiated the development of variant-specific vaccines for Covid,” Bharat Biotech chairman & managing director Dr Krishna Ella said on Monday.
iNCOVACC is a recombinant replication-deficient adenovirus vectored vaccine with a pre-fusion stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.
Bharat Biotech said the intranasal vaccine platform offers the double benefit of enabling faster development of variant-specific vaccines and easy nasal delivery to enable mass immunisation.
The vaccine, which was evaluated in phase-1,2 and 3 clinical trials, has been specifically formulated to allow intranasal delivery through nasal drops and has been designed to be cost-effective in low and middle-income countries, the company said.
The vaccine maker said with the approvals from the Indian drug regulator now in place, it will be announcing the launch dates, pricing and availability of the vaccine in due course of time.
After the Indian drug regulator granted EUA for iNCOVACC in September, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation on Friday granted EUA for use as a booster in those who have received two doses of another vaccine. Both approvals have been granted for use in those over 18 years of age.
Bharat Biotech said iNCOVACC was evaluated for its ability to elicit long-term memory T and B cell responses against the ancestral and omicron variants of SARS-CoV-2. “The product development data will be submitted to peer reviewed journals and made available in the public domain,” said Bharat Biotech.