Bharat Biotech’s intranasal COVID-19 vaccine to cost ₹800 for private markets

Image for representational purposes only.

Image for representational purposes only.
| Photo Credit: The Hindu

Hyderabad-based Bharath Biotech said Tuesday that its nasally administered vaccine, iNCOVACC, would be available for public use from the fourth week of January and cost ₹800 for private markets and ₹325 for governments.

 iNCOVACC will be rolled out as a booster dose for those above 18 years of age and is the world’s first intranasal vaccine for COVID to receive approval for the primary 2-dose schedule, as well as a heterologous booster dose.

 iNCOVACC® was developed in partnership with Washington University, St. Louis, U.S., which had designed and developed the recombinant adenoviral-vectored construct and evaluated it in preclinical studies for efficacy. Unlike Covaxin, which was an inactivated sars-cov2 virus, the nasal vaccine contains only a part of it, namely the spike protein and is wrapped in a virus that is typically harmless to people.

Product development related to preclinical safety evaluation, large-scale manufacturing scale-up, formulation, and delivery device development, including human clinical trials, were conducted by Bharat Biotech. Product development and clinical trials were funded in part by the Government of India, through the Department of Biotechnology’s, COVID-19 Suraksha Program.

A press release from the vaccine maker said the jab will be rolled out in the fourth week of January 2023.

Krishna Ella, Executive Chairman of BBIL, said, “We have developed Covaxin and iNCOVACC, two COVID-19 vaccines from two different platforms, with two different delivery systems. The vectored intranasal delivery platform gives us the capability for rapid product development, scale-up, easy and painless immunization during public health emergencies and pandemics.” Phase-III trials of iNCOVACC (as a two-dose regimen) were conducted for safety, and immunogenicity in approximately 3100 subjects, in 14 trial sites across India while Heterologous booster dose studies were conducted for safety and immunogenicity in 875 subjects, the release further said.

On Friday, Health Minister, Mansukh Mandaviya said that inCOVACC had been approved for public use. Appointments for the booster shot could be taken via the COWIN website.

With inputs from PTI.

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