New Delhi: The Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) launched the world’s first intranasal vaccine against Covid19, iNCOVACC, at a simple function held in New Delhi on Thursday. Union minister of health & family welfare Mansukh Mandaviya formally unveiled the vaccine today in presence of Union science and technology minister Jitendra Singh.
iNCOVACC is the world’s first intranasal Covid19 vaccine to receive approval for the primary 2-dose schedule, and as a heterologous booster dose. It is developed by BBIL in collaboration with Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance (BIRAC), a PSU under the department of biotechnology, ministry of science and technology.
Mandaviya claimed that over 65% of vaccines supplied in the world are from India. Congratulating the BBIL team and the department of biotech for bringing about the world’s first nasal vaccine, he stated that “being the world’s first intra-nasal Covid19 vaccine, this marks a glorious tribute to the call for Atmanirbhar Bharat.”
India’s vaccine manufacturing and innovation capability is appreciated all over the world as it has made a mark in producing quality and affordable medicines
The Union health minister added that India’s vaccine manufacturing and innovation capability is appreciated all over the world as it has made a mark in producing quality and affordable medicines. He also highlighted that BBIL in collaboration with ICMR introduced Covaxin in India within a month of the launch of first Covid vaccine in the world.
Jitendra Singh said that “India has taken a lead in developing vaccines and medicines for diseases common in the developing world” and added that the country’s pharmaceutical industries would strive for developing vaccine for non-communicable diseases in the next stage.
Singh also stated that ZyCoV-D, the world’s first and India’s indigenously developed DNA based vaccine for Covid-19 to be administered in humans including children and adults 12 years and above, was also developed in partnership with the department of biotechnology under ‘mission Covid suraksha’ through BIRAC.
iNCOVACC is a cost effective Covid vaccine, which does not require syringes, needles, alcohol wipes, bandage, etc, saving costs related to procurement, distribution, storage, and biomedical waste disposal, that is routinely required for injectable vaccines. It utilizes a vector-based platform, which can be easily updated with emerging variants leading to large scale production, within a few months. These rapid response timelines combined with the ability of cost effective and easy intranasal delivery, makes it an ideal vaccine to address future infectious diseases.
A rollout of iNCOVACC is expected to begin in private hospitals that have placed advance orders. Initial manufacturing capacity of several million doses per annum has been established, this can be scaled up to a billion doses as required. iNCOVACC is priced at ₹325/dose for large volume procurement by state governments and Central government institutions.
Secretary, dept of biotechnology Rajesh Gokhale, secretary, technology development board Rajesh Kumar Pathak and other senior officials of the ministry were present on the occasion. Krishna Ella, co-founder & executive chairman, BBIL, and Suchitra Ella, co-founder and MD, were also present.