Indian Biotechnology company Bharat Biotech is developing and testing a vaccine against coronavirus called CoroFlu in collaboration with international virologists and vaccine makers.
The company stated that ‘CoroFlu’ is under development and animals trials are expected to take place in three to six months. The company will then begin scaling up production for safety and efficacy testing in humans and CoroFlu could be in human clinical trials by the fall of 2020.
CoroFlu will be administered intra-nasally like the flu vaccine M2SR. The nasal usage of medicine will mimic the natural route of infection used by the coronavirus and and it is considered more effective than intramuscular shots.
Bharat Biotech, which earlier commercialised 16 vaccines including a vaccine developed against the H1N1 flu, will produce 300 million doses of vaccine for global distribution.
“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,” Bharat Biotech announced.
The corroborating international virologists at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and vaccine companies FluGen will transfer their existing manufacturing processes to Bharat Biotech to enable the company to scale up production and produce the vaccine for clinical trials.
“CoroFlu will build on the backbone of FluGen's flu vaccine candidate known as M2SR,” stated Dr. Raches Ella, Head of Business Development at Bharat Biotech.
The flu vaccine M2SR, which is based on an invention by virologists Yoshihiro Kawaoka and Gabriele Neumann from the laboratory, can induce an immune response against the flu. The new vaccine will be made by inserting gene sequences from SARS-CoV-2 into M2SR.
SARS-CoV-2 or, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2, the name given to novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, has created a global pandemic.
According to the federal Health Ministry of India, 2,301 have tested positive for COVID-19 and 56 people have died from the disease; 157 people have fully recovered in India and have been discharged.
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