“A unique intra-nasal vaccine for Corona Virus named “CoroFlu” is underway,” said Bharat Biotech on Friday.
It will be an international collaboration of virologists of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and vaccine companies FluGen along with Hyderabad-based, Bharat Biotech.
According to Dr Krishna Ella, chairman of Bharat Biotech, it will manufacture vaccines and conduct clinical trials on animals first, whereas human clinical trials expected by the fall of 2020 and prepare to produce almost 300 million doses of vaccine for global distribution.
Under the collaboration agreement, FluGen will transfer its existing manufacturing processes to Bharat Biotech to enable the company to scale up production and produce the vaccine for clinical trials. Bharat Biotech has commercialized 16 vaccines, including a vaccine developed against the H1 N1 flu that caused the 2009 pandemic.
The actualization of the CoroFlu vaccine concept and testing in laboratory animal models at UW- Madison is expected to take three to six months. Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad, India will then begin production, scale-up for safety and efficacy testing in humans.
How it is likely to come off
CoroFlu will be developed on the basis of an existing FluGen’s flu vaccine candidate known as M2SR, which is a self- limiting version of the influenza virus that induces an immune response against the flu.
M2SR is a form of the flu virus. It lacks a gene called M2, which restricts the virus to undergo only a single round of replication in cells. The single replication means the virus can enter the cell but it can’t leave,” said Flugen co-founder, president, and CEO Paul Radspinner.
In essence, it will trick the body into thinking it’s infected with flu, which triggers a full immune response but since it can’t replicate further, you don’t get sick.
CoroFlu, like M2SR, will be insufflated intranasally, which is the natural route of infection by corona-virus and influenza and activates several modes of the immune system.
“We are going to modify M2SR by adding part of the coding region for the coronavirus spike protein that the virus uses to latch onto cells and begin infection,” Gabriele Neumann, a senior virologist in Kawaoka’s lab and co-founder of FluGen, said. “CoroFlu will also express the influenza virus hemagglutinin protein, which is the major influenza virus antigen, so we should get an immune response to both corona-virus and influenza,” he added.
when the search for the corona-virus vaccine has become a global competition, let’s see what this particular vaccine has to offer?