Will Bharat Biotech win the race to COVID-19 Vaccine?

Bharat Biotech

With the number of confirmed Corona virus cases rising every hour in India, the outcry to develop a vaccine soon is being worked upon by several Pharma and Research companies. Hyderabad-based vaccine-maker Bharat Biotech has announced that it has already dived into the development and testing of CoroFlu, a vaccine against COVID-19.

A statement by the Company, earlier today, revealed that ‘CoroFlu’ is under development. The product is being developed as a part of an international collaboration of virologists at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and vaccine companies FluGen along with Bharat Biotech. The statement also mentions that the clinical trials on humans will begin in Q3 2020 i.e. September-December.

The CoroFlu vaccine will be a one-drop nasal-vaccine and has already shown positive results in the Phase I clinical trial. It is built on the backbone of FluGen’s flu vaccine candidate known as M2SR. M2SR is a self-limiting version of the influenza virus that induces an immune response against the flu, based on an invention by UW-Madison virologists and FluGen co-founders Yoshihiro Kawaoka and Gabriele Neumann. The Founders plan to insert gene sequences from SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19, into M2SR so that the new vaccine will also induce immunity against the coronavirus.

Head of Business Development at Bharat Biotech, Raches Ella said “Bharat Biotech will manufacture the vaccine, conduct clinical trials and prepare to produce almost 300 million doses of vaccine for global distribution. Under the collaboration agreement, FluGen will transfer its existing manufacturing processes to Bharat Biotech to enable the company to scale up production and produce the vaccine for clinical trials.”

India is already reeling under the effects with over 2000 confirmed cases so far. The Government is pouring in maximum efforts to contain the spread and also taking precautions towards avoiding the feared community transmissions.

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