Team Biotech developed world’s first Intranasal vaccine for Covid: Jitendra Singh

NEW DELHI : Team Biotech developed the world’s first Nasal Vaccine, said Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Sunday. 

Applauding the team for their efforts, the minister said that the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) under the Ministry and its PSU, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance (BIRAC) had made the major contribution in developing the world’s first Intranasal vaccine for Covid through Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL). 

Singh added that this was made possible because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal intervention and regular monitoring. “That enabled the launch of Mission Covid Suraksha which strengthened Aatmanirbhar Bharat and bolstered India’s status as a worldwide vaccine development and manufacturing centre. It showcased India’s science and technological capabilities.” 

He said that the product development and clinical trials were funded by the Department of Biotechnology and BIRAC under Mission Covid Suraksha. “This vaccine received approval under restricted use in emergency situations for ages 18 and above for primary two-dose schedule, homologous booster doses.” 

“National Institute of Immunology (NII) New Delhi, an autonomous institute under the Department of Biotechnology utilized its Human Immune Monitoring and T-cell Immunoassay Platform to examine the vaccine-induced SARS-CoV-2-specific systemic and mucosal cellular immune responses in the trial participants,” the Ministry of Science & Technology said. 

Interactive Research School for Health Affairs (IRSHA), Pune (supported by DBT BIRAC) completed the “Plaque Reduction Neutralization Assay” (PRNT) to quantify the titer of neutralizing antibodies for the virus from three trial sites, it added. 

The vaccine is a recombinant replication deficient adenovirus vectored vaccine with a pre-fusion stabilized spike protein. “This vaccine candidate was evaluated in Phases I, II and III clinical trials with successful results. It has been specifically formulated to allow intranasal delivery through nasal drops. The vaccine is stable at 2-8°C for easy storage and distribution,” the ministry said. 

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