COVID-19 vaccine update: COVAXIN's animal trial gets robust immune responses, says Bharat Biotech
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Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech announced that its potential COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin, has shown positive efficacy in animal studies and generated robust immune responses.

Bharat Biotech said: "Bharat Biotech proudly announces the animal study results of COVAXIN™ - These results demonstrate the protective efficacy in a live viral challenge model."

"To summarise, the vaccine candidate was found to generate robust immune responses. Thus, preventing infection and disease in the primates upon high amounts of exposure to live SARS-CoV-2 virus," Bharat Biotech posted on its website.

The results show reduction in replication of the virus in the nasal cavity, throat and lung tissues of monkeys. The drug-maker added: "The vaccine candidate was found to generate robust immune responses. Thus, preventing infection and disease in the primates upon high amounts of exposure to live SARS-CoV-2 virus."

During the procedure, a two-dose vaccination regimen of inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates was administered in 20 rhesus macaques, divided into four groups. One group was administered with placebo, while three groups were immunised with three different vaccine candidates at zero and 14 days. All the macaques were exposed to viral challenge 14 days after the second dose.

"The results showed protective efficacy, increasing SARS-CoV-2 specific IgG and neutralizing antibodies, reducing replication of the virus in the nasal cavity, throat, and lung tissues of the monkeys," Bharat Biotech added.

COVAXIN, developed by the Indian Council of Medical Research and Bharat Biotech, is being tested at 12 institutes across India. This indigenous vaccine is one of the front runners in the race for a coronavirus vaccine in the country.

Meanwhile, AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford on Saturday said that clinical trials for their coronavirus vaccine have resumed in the UK after the Medicines Health Regulatory Authority's (MHRA) confirmed that the trials were safe. The human trials resumed days after a pause had been announced in the trials after an adverse reaction in one of the participants.

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