The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and its PSU, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), on Wednesday announced that the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) had given emergency use authorization for the first of its kind intranasal COVID-19 vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech (BBIL).
The development of the vaccine was supported by DBT and BIRAC under the aegis of Mission COVID Suraksha. DBT launched the mission, and BIRAC implemented it to reinforce and accelerate COVID-19 vaccine development efforts as part of the Aatmanirbhar 3.0 programme. This is the fourth success story for the COVID-19 vaccine under mission COVID Suraksha.
Named BBV154, it is an intranasal replication-deficient chimpanzee adenovirus SARS-CoV-2 vector vaccine. It consists of a replication-deficient ChAd vector expressing the stabilized Spike SARS-CoV-2 (Wuhan variant).
DBT’s Autonomous Institute, National Institute of Immunology (NII), New Delhi, 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. Interactive Research School for Health Affairs (IRSHA), Pune, completed the Plaque Reduction Neutralization Assay (PRNT) to quantify the titer of neutralizing antibodies for the virus from three trial sites.
Commenting on the development, Dr, Rajesh S Gokhale, Secretary, DBT, and Chairperson, BIRAC, said, “The Department, through Mission COVID Suraksha, is committed to the development of safe and efficacious COVID-19 vaccines. BBV154 COVID Vaccine is the first intranasal vaccine approved by DCGI for primary immunization against COVID-19 in the 18+ age group, for restricted use in an emergency situation. An excellent example of the Aatmanirbharta initiative of the Government of India. I congratulate our scientists for partnering with Bharat Biotech and providing scientific leadership throughout the development of the vaccine”. (India Science Wire)