Bharat Biotech's Covaxin found to work against UK variant of SARS-CoV-2: Study
Earlier ICMR's National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune isolated and cultured the UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 called as B.1.1.7.
January 27, 2021 / 04:45 PM IST
Bharat Biotech's Covaxin was granted restricted emegency use approval in 'clinical trial mode' on January 2.
Vaccine maker Bharat Biotech and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have announced that Covaxin has been found to work against the UK-variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The joint study conducted by Bharat Biotech and ICMR, published in bioRxiv, an open access preprint journal biological sciences, found that the Sera collected from Covaxin receipients neutralised UK-variants.
Earlier ICMR's National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune isolated and cultured the UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 called as B.1.1.7. The ICMR-NIV strain was used for testing.
The B.1.1.7, a mutant variant from UK is known to have 50 percent higher transmissibility than the SARS-CoV-2 virus, making it huge cause of concern globally. Earlier, Pfizer and Moderna have announced that their COVID-19 vaccines have produced neutralising antibodies against UK variant. Moderna said its vaccine was found to protect against B.1.351 variant which was detected in South Africa and is also highly transmissible.
Both UK and South Africa SARS-CoV-2 versions have multiple mutations on the spike protein, which the virus uses to enter cells.
ICMR said that Covaxin has been not just effective against UK variant, but has been found to produce immuno response against the predominantly circulating strains in India.
"We performed the plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT50) using sera collected from the 26 recipients of BBV152/COVAXIN against hCoV-19/India/20203522 (UK-variant) and hCoV27 19/India/2020Q111 (heterologous strain). A comparable neutralization activity of sera of the vaccinated individuals showed against UK-variant and the heterologous strain with similar efficiency, dispel the uncertainty of possible neutralization escape," the study said.
Covaxin was granted restricted emergency use approval under clinical trial mode, by India drug regulator Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) without phase-3 efficacy data. The approval was based on the hypothesis that the vaccine works on the mutant strains including UK variant.
Bharat Biotech developed Covaxin based on the SARS-CoV-2 it received from ICMR- NIV, Pune.