Mr Mandaviya called iNCOVACC a testimony to the innovative zeal of our scientists. (File)
Union Health Minister Mansukh Manadaviya said that the world's first intranasal vaccine for Covid-19 iNCOVACC launched on Thursday is a testimony to the innovative zeal of our scientists and a display of India's research and innovation prowess under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Proud to launch iNCOVACC, the world's 1st intranasal vaccine for Covid. A mighty display of India's research and innovation prowess under PM Narendra Modi Ji's leadership," Mr Mandaviya said in a tweet and called it a testimony to the innovative zeal of our scientists.
Mr Mandaviya unveiled the Incovacc, the first India-made nasal Covid-19 vaccine, today in the presence of Union Minister of State (IC) for Science and Technology, Jitendra Singh.
Developed by Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) in collaboration with Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance (BIRAC), a PSU under the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, iNCOVACC is the world's first intranasal Covid-19 vaccine to receive approval for the primary 2-dose schedule, and as a heterologous booster dose.
Speaking at the event, Mr Mandaviya said that over 65 per cent of vaccines supplied in the world are from India and congratulated the BBIL team and the department of Biotech for bringing about the world's first nasal vaccine.
"Being the world's first intra-nasal Covid-19 vaccine, this marks a glorious tribute to the call for Atmanirbhar Bharat. India's vaccine manufacturing and innovation capability are appreciated all over the world as it has made a mark in producing quality and affordable medicines," the Union Health Minister said.
According to a statement by the firm, Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL), a global leader in vaccine innovation and developer of vaccines for infectious diseases, today dedicated iNCOVACC (BBV154) to the nation, the world's 1st Covid-19 intranasal vaccine for Primary series and Heterologous booster.
"Product development and clinical trials for iNCOVACC were funded in part by the Government of India, through the Department of Biotechnology's, Covid Suraksha Program," the statement added.
The firm said it got an approval from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) "for iNCOVACC to be administered for primary series and as heterologous booster doses".
"Amid growing Covid-19 cases and emerging variants of the highly transmissible virus, a booster dose of the vaccine becomes imperative. iNCOVACC is now available on CoWIN, and priced at INR 800 for private markets and INR 325 for supplies to Govt of India and State Governments," the statement read.
"iNCOVACC is a recombinant replication-deficient adenovirus vectored vaccine with a pre-fusion stabilized spike protein. This vaccine candidate was evaluated in phase I, II and III clinical trials with successful results," it stated further.
The nasal delivery system has been designed and developed to be cost-effective in low and middle-income countries, informed the pharma firm.
"As needleless vaccination, Bharat Biotech's iNCOVACC will be the world's first such booster dose. India will now have more options when it comes to third doses or precautionary doses," it said.
"Clinical trials and extensive humoral and cell-mediated responses were conducted to evaluate iNCOVACC as a primary dose schedule, and as a heterologous booster dose for subjects who have previously received two doses of the two commonly administered Covid-19 vaccines in India. The intranasal vaccine is stable at 2-8 C for easy storage and distribution and has been designed for efficient distribution and easy pain-free administration," it stated.
The firm said despite the relatively low demand for Covid vaccines, "Bharat Biotech continued product development in intranasal vaccines, to be well-prepared with platform technologies for future infectious diseases. Bharat Biotech has also initiated the development of variant-specific vaccines for Covid in an attempt to be future-ready".
Further, according to the statement, the vaccine has been specifically formulated to allow intranasal delivery through nasal drops.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)