Covid immunization: Bharat Biotech to utilize ViroVax’s adjuvant for Covaxin

Covid immunization: Bharat Biotech to utilize ViroVax’s adjuvant for Covaxin


  • Post By : Kumar Jeetendra

  • Source: Agency

  • Date: 05 Oct,2020

Trials, will use adjuvant Alhydroxiquim-II to boost immune response and longer lasting immunity. The technology has been used under this licensing arrangement with US-based ViroVax.

Adjuvant is used to boost the vaccine efficacy.

Covaxin is an inactivated vaccine derived from a strain of SARS-CoV-2 virus, isolated in the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune under Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The inactivated virus is formulated with ViroVax’s adjuvant to produce the vaccine candidate.

Bharat Biotech is currently conducting Phase II human trials of Covaxin after receiving approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI).

“There is critical need for development and availability of adjuvants that elucidate mechanisms of action causing greater antibody responses to vaccine antigens, thus resulting in long-term protection against pathogens,” said Krishna Ella, Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech.

“Adjuvants also improve the sustainability of the global vaccine supply due to the antigen-sparing effect. Our partnership with ViroVax resonates with Bharat Biotech’s relentless efforts towards developing safe and effective vaccines coupled with long term immunity,” Ella added.

Aluminium hydroxide is widely used as adjuvant in the development of SARS CoV-2 vaccines is known to induce a Th2 based reaction, which can be important for eradication of extracellular parasites and bacterial infection).

The Th2 based reaction has a theoretical risk of vaccine associated improved respiratory diseases (VAERD or ADE). We’ve used Imidazoquinoline class of adjuvants (TLR7/8 agonists), which are known to induce Th1 based reaction which further reduces the risk of ADE (Anti-Body Dependent Enhancement).”

In our pre-clinical research and animal challenge models (Syrian Hamster and Rhesus Macaques) we have shown that Covaxin induced Th1 based reaction as a result of use of Algel-IMDG (chemosorbed imidazoquinoline onto the aluminum hydroxide gel) as an adjuvant.

“ViroVax is delighted to partner with Bharat Biotech. This has been possible due to assistance from the National Institutes of Health,” said Dr. Sunil David of ViroVax.

In reaction to this COVID-19 pandemic, ViroVax also received supplemental funding for the development of sub-unit vaccine constructs for preventing COVID-19, and for the discovery and development of therapeutics for treating COVID-19.

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