Bharat Biotech that is developing the coronavirus vaccine COVAXIN in its latest report has said an animal study has shown a vaccine candidate has helped develop a strong immune response to the highly infectious coronavirus.
“To summarise, the vaccine candidate was found to generate robust immune responses. Thus, preventing infection and disease in the primates upon high amounts of exposure to live SARS-CoV-2 virus,” Bharat Biotech posted on its website.
“These results demonstrate the protective efficacy in a live viral challenge model,” the company tweeted.
It said 20 rhesus macaques divided into four groups were given the vaccine candidate.
“One group was administered with placebo, while three groups were immunised with three different vaccine candidates at zero and 14 days. All the macaques were exposed to viral challenge 14 days after the second dose,” Bharat Biotech said.
“The results showed protective efficacy, increasing SARS-CoV-2 specific IgG and neutralising antibodies, reducing replication of the virus in the nasal cavity, throat, and lung tissues of monkey. No evidence of pneumonia was observed by histopathological examination in vaccinated groups, unlike the placebo group. Adverse events were not seen in animals immunised with a two-dose vaccination regimen,” Bharat Biotech said.
Bharat Biotech proudly announces the animal study results of COVAXIN™ – These results demonstrate the protective efficacy in a live viral challenge model.— BharatBiotech (@BharatBiotech) September 11, 2020
Read more about the results here – https://t.co/f81JUSfWpD@icmr_niv #BharatBiotech #COVAXIN #Safety #Vaccine #SARSCoV2 pic.twitter.com/fva1SOcLOr
Bharat Biotech started human trials in July after getting approval from the country’s drug regulatory body.
Though it was initially planned that COVAXIN would be launched in the market by August 15, government officials later told a parliamentary standing committee that such a drug would not be possible till at least next year.
Globally, more than 100 vaccines are being developed and tested to try to stop the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed hundreds of thousands and ravaged the global economy.
University of Oxford’s potential COVID-19 vaccine that has been licensed to AstraZeneca is probably the world’s leading candidate and most advanced in terms of development. But it has been paused after one of the subjects in the trials showed an adverse reaction.