Zydus Cadila has received the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for ZyCoV-D, the world’s first Plasmid DNA vaccine for the Covid-19. The ZyCoV-D is a three-dose vaccine, which will be administered first on day zero, day 28th and then on the 56th day, the company has said.
With this approval, India now has its first Covid-19 vaccine for adolescents in the 12-18 age group, besides the adult population. The ZyCoV-D, is a needle-free vaccine administered using The PharmaJet, a needle-free applicator, which ensures painless intradermal vaccine delivery.
This is for the first time that a technologically advanced vaccine has been successfully developed on the Plasmid DNA platform for human use. Owing to its rapid plug-and-play technology, the platform can be easily adapted to deal with mutations in the virus, such as those already occurring. The company plans to manufacture 10-12 crore doses of ZyCoV-D annually.
“This is a historic milestone with ZyCoV-D, a product of Indian innovation becoming the world’s first DNA vaccine being offered for human use and supporting the world’s largest immunisation drive. We are particularly happy that our vaccine will contribute to this fight against the Covid-19 and enable the country to vaccinate a larger population especially in the age group of 12-18 years. I would like to thank all the researchers, clinical trial investigators, volunteers and the regulators who have supported this endeavour,” Pankaj R Patel, Chairman, Cadila Healthcare Ltd said.
The Gujarat-based company also plans to seek approval for the two-dose regimen of the vaccine. The main advantage of DNA vaccines is their ability to stimulate both the humoral and cellular arms of the adaptive immune system. They are a valuable form of antigen-specific immunotherapy, as they are safe, stable and can be easily produced.