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Bharat Biotech begins nasal Covid vaccine trials in Hyderabad

Bharat Biotech begins nasal Covid vaccine trials in Hyderabad
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Bharat Biotech begins nasal Covid vaccine trials in Hyderabad

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Hyderabad: The clinical trials for Bharat Biotech's nasal Covid-19 vaccine candidate have been kicked off in Hyderabad. A Hyderabad hospital, one of th...

Hyderabad: The clinical trials for Bharat Biotech's nasal Covid-19 vaccine candidate have been kicked off in Hyderabad. A Hyderabad hospital, one of the four facilities shortlisted across the nation for Phase 1 of the clinical trials, gave the vaccine to two of the 10 shortlisted volunteers on Friday. Both the patients who have received dose are healthy and doing fine after receiving the vaccine, sources have said.

Bharat Biotech was given the permission to conduct the first phase of clinical trial for its intranasal Covid-19 vaccine BBV154 by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on Tuesday. In the first phase, the company will test the vaccine on 175 candidates at health centres in Patna, Chennai, Nagpur and Hyderabad.

The intranasal vaccine, which has been brand-named CoroFlu', is different from the intramuscular vaccines that were recently approved by the Indian drug regulator for restricted emergency use in the country.

Krishna Ella, Chairperson of Bharat Biotech, had earlier said the company is focusing on the intranasal vaccine as existing vaccines require two-dose intramuscular injections and a country like India needs 2.6 billion syringes and needles, which may add to pollution.

An intranasal vaccine will not only be simple to administer but reduce the use of medical consumables such as needles, syringes, etc. This is likely to significantly impact the overall cost of vaccination drive, he had said.

As per the company, what makes 'CoroFlu' stand apart from other candidates is that it's built on a flu vaccine "backbone" that has already been shown to be safe and well-tolerated in humans, in Phase I and Phase II clinical trials. Bharat Biotech is developing the nasal vaccine in an international collaboration with virologists of the University of WisconsinMadison and vaccine company FluGen.

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