Hyderabad-based vaccine maker Bharat Biotech announced that a unique intranasal vaccine for Covid-19 ‘CoroFlu’ is under development. Bharat biotech has tied up internationally with virologists at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (US) and the vaccine companies FluGen for the development and testing of the vaccine.
FluGen’s flu vaccine candidate known as M2SR will act as a backbone for building Coroflu. Based on an invention by UW–Madison virologists and FluGen co-founders Yoshihiro Kawaoka and Gabriele Neumann, M2SR is a constrained version of the influenza virus that generates an immune response against the flu.
Kawaoka’s lab will insert gene sequences from SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus, which triggers the disease COVID-19, into M2SR likewise to induce immunity against the coronavirus.
Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad, India will eventually begin production scale-up for safety and efficacy testing in humans. CoroFlu has been tested in 1st and 2nd stage of clinical trials successfully and could be in human clinical trials by the fall of 2020, which is the final stage testing before launching commercially in the markets.
As per the collaboration agreement, FluGen will transfer existing manufacturing processes to Bharat Biotech for effectively scaling up production and produce the vaccine for clinical trials. It will develop the vaccine, conduct clinical trials, and produce nearly 300 million doses of vaccine for global distribution,” said Dr. Raches Ella, Head of Business Development, Bharat Biotech.
Bharat Biotech is a biotechnological company founded by an Indian scientist Krishna ella, which has so far empirically commercialized 16 vaccines, including a vaccine against H1N1 flu that triggered the 2009 pandemic.