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Zydus Cadila plans to start clinical trials of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine: Report

Apart from Zydus Cadila, Pune-based Gennova Biopharmaceuticals is also developing an mRNA vaccine against COVID-19

September 29, 2021 / 10:43 AM IST
Shots developed by Pfizer and Moderna were the first mRNA COVID-19 vaccines to be rolled out in the world. (Representative image)

Shots developed by Pfizer and Moderna were the first mRNA COVID-19 vaccines to be rolled out in the world. (Representative image)

Zydus Cadila is looking to start clinical trials of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidate, Mint has reported.

The Ahmedabad-based company has begun looking for partners to begin the trial, and a formal announcement is expected soon, the report said.

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the story.

Zydus Cadila has already developed the world's first DNA-based COVID-19 vaccine, which has been granted Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) in India. However, the rollout of the jab, called ZyCoV-D, is yet to begin.

NITI Aayog Member Dr V K Paul recently said that the price of the vaccine is an issue.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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"The price is also a clear issue. Talks are going on and a decision will soon be taken. With full preparation, it will become a part of the country's national vaccination programme. We are looking forward to receiving recommendations of the NTAGI on the beneficiary or target group to which the vaccine has to be given. The work is in progress and you will hear more about this in the times to come," he said, as quoted by PTI.

Apart from Zydus Cadila, Pune-based Gennova Biopharmaceuticals is also developing an mRNA vaccine against COVID-19. Hyderabad-based Biological E has signed a licensing agreement to manufacture Canadian company Providence Therapeutics's mRNA vaccine in India.

Shots developed by Pfizer and Moderna were the first mRNA COVID-19 vaccines to be rolled out in the world.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mRNA vaccines trigger an immune response in humans by teaching cells to how to make a protein—or even just a piece of a protein.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Sep 29, 2021 10:43 am

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