As per a recent report by Mint, Zydus Cadila is planning to begin clinical trials for an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
According to the article, the Ahmedabad-based business has begun seeking for partners to launch the experiment, and an official announcement is expected shortly.
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.
Dr V K Paul, a member of the NITI Aayog, has said that the vaccine’s cost is a concern.
“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.
In addition to Zydus Cadila, Pune-based Gennova Biopharmaceuticals is working on an mRNA vaccine against COVID-19. Biological E, located in Hyderabad, has secured a licence deal to produce Providence Therapeutics’ 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.