With India is witnessing a record spike in the number of COVID-19 cases, which have now crossed the 9 lakh mark, medical experts are working are trying harder every day to develop a vaccine to fight the crisis.

India’s second vaccine under development, Ahmedabad based Zydus Cadila’s novel ZyCoV-D has now received ready approvals from the authorities to start phase I and II of clinical trials. The pharma major has proceeded to start with the experimental dosing.

An announcement regarding the same was made on social media by Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan.

The tweet also mentioned that the vaccine, which has been developed in Indian laboratories from scratch has been partially funded by Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Tech, Govt of India and with the start of the testing process, it is now the first homegrown vaccine to reach the human clinical trial phase.

The other vaccine, which has been approved for clinical testing, COVAXIN, produced by Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech is also underway to start testing. Participants across regions have been identified and more updates regarding the same are awaited.

The work on Zydus Cadila’s novel vaccine was accelerated after authorities found promising results in pre-clinical trials, which were conducted on animals like mice, rabbits, guinea pigs, rats who developed necessary antibodies to fight the infection. It was also found that the vaccine candidate was by far safe and “well-tolerated” in early studies.

The company made use of two technologies to develop their vaccine- One which involved the development of a DNA vaccine by using the viral protein of the virus to trigger the body’s immune system against the coronavirus.

The other approach included producing the vaccine candidate using live attenuated recombinant measles virus.

Interestingly, Zydus Cadila is also involved in the production of experimental anti-viral medication to treat COVID-19, the much-debated Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ).


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