Intranasal Covid vaccine trials to likely end soon

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: After receiving go-ahead for Covaxin for the two-years plus population by the drug regulator’s expert panel, Bharat Biotech is now preparing to submit data for its intranasal vaccine against Covid19, which has been projected as a game changer.

The Hyderabad headquartered firm’s BBV154, on adenovirus-based platform, is set to follow a single dose regimen and the company has said that it stimulates broad immune responses at the site of infection in the nasal mucosa which is essential for blocking both infection and transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Sources said as part of the trial involving 600 participants, results of which are likely to be submitted to the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation in the coming weeks, three dosing regimens have been adopted.

The first group of volunteers will receive Covaxin as the first dose and the newly-developed intranasal vaccine as the second dose. The second group will get both doses of intranasal vaccine while the third group will receive only Covaxin for both doses.

Meanwhile, authorities have said that the intranasal vaccine requires minimal training to administer and will not need syringes – meaning easier logistical support. Bharat Biotech and Washington University School of Medicine had announced a licensing agreement in September last year for the nasal vaccine candidate, under which the company had also bagged the distribution rights in markets except the US, Japan and Europe.