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DNA vaccine construct encoding a spike protein antigen of SARS-CoV-2 virus (Zydus-Cadila)
UPDATE. APPROVED IN INDIA AUG 2021
bioRxiv (2021), 1-26.
ZyCoV-D is a genetically engineered DNA plasmid based vaccine encoding for the membrane proteins of the virus. The clinical trials to study the immunogenicity, and safety of the vaccine, will administer three doses at an interval of 28 days in 1048 individuals.
Phase 1/2: CTRI/2020/07/026352
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ZyCoV-D is a DNA plasmid based COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Cadila Healthcare with support from the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council.
The ZYCOV-D vaccine candidate was developed by Cadila Healthcare Ltd. based in India1. The vaccine was developed using a DNA vaccine platform with a non-replicating and non-integrating plasmid carrying the gene of interest3. Once the plasmid DNA is introduced into host cells and the viral protein is translated, it elicits a strong immune response, stimulating the humoral and cellular components of the immune system3. The DNA vaccine platform offers minimal biosafety requirements, more improved vaccine stability, and lower cold chain requirements3. Phase I clinical trials of this vaccine candidate were completed in July 2020, with the company reporting successful dosing and tolerance1,2. As of August, 2020 the candidate is in Phase II clinical trials1.
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Phase I and II trials
In February 2020, Cadila Healthcare decided to develop a DNA plasmid based COVID-19 vaccine at their Vaccine Technology Centre (VTC) in Ahmedabad. The vaccine candidate was able to pass the pre-clinical trials on animal models successfully. A report of the study was made available via bioRxiv. Thereafter, human trials for Phase I and II were approved by the regulator.
The Phase II trials of the vaccine candidate were conducted in over 1,000 volunteers as part of the adaptive Phase I/II multi-centric, dose escalation, randomised, double-blind placebo controlled method.
Phase III trials
In November 2020, the company announced it would test the vaccine candidate on 30,000 patients in Phase III trials. The vaccine would be given out in three doses at five sites across four cities of India. In January 2021, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) granted permission to conduct the Phase III clinical trials for 28,216 Indian participants.
In April 2021, the company reported that they expected to have initial data for the Phase III trials by May 2021.
On 23 April 2021, production of the ZyCoV-D vaccine was started, with a yearly capacity of 240 million doses. It is expected to get emergency use authorization in May or June.
- ^ “Zydus Cadila launches a fast tracked programme to develop vaccine for the novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV (COVID-19)”(PDF). http://www.zyduscadila.com. Cadila Healthcare.
- ^ Dey A, Rajanathan C, Chandra H, Pericherla HP, Kumar S, Choonia HS, et al. (26 January 2021). “Immunogenic Potential of DNA Vaccine candidate, ZyCoV-D against SARS-CoV-2 in Animal Models”. bioRxiv: 2021.01.26.428240. doi:10.1101/2021.01.26.428240. S2CID 231777527.
- ^ “A prospective, randomized, adaptive, phase I/II clinical study to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of Novel Corona Virus −2019-nCov vaccine candidate of M/s Cadila Healthcare Limited by intradermal route in healthy subjects”. ctri.nic.in. Clinical Trials Registry India. 15 December 2020. CTRI/2020/07/026352. Archived from the original on 22 November 2020.
- ^ “Zydus Cadila’s ZyCov-D vaccine found to be ‘safe and immunogenic'”. @businessline. The Hindu. 24 December 2020.
- ^ Rawat K, Kumari P, Saha L (February 2021). “COVID-19 vaccine: A recent update in pipeline vaccines, their design and development strategies”. European Journal of Pharmacology. 892: 173751. doi:10.1016/j.ejphar.2020.173751. PMC 7685956. PMID 33245898.
- ^ Thacker T (7 November 2020). “Zydus Cadila to test ZyCoV-D on 30,000 patients in Phase-3 trials”. The Economic Times.
- ^ “Covid 19 vaccine in India: Zydus Cadila begins enrolment for Phase 3 trial of ZyCoV-D in 4 cities”. The Financial Express. 22 January 2021.
- ^ “DBT-BIRAC supported indigenously developed DNA Vaccine Candidate by Zydus Cadila, approved for Phase III clinical trials”. pib.gov.in. Press Information Bureau. 3 January 2021.
- ^ “Novel Corona Virus-2019-nCov vaccine by intradermal route in healthy subjects”. ctri.nic.in. Clinical Trials Registry – India. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
- ^ Das, Sohini (22 April 2021). “Cadila Healthcare testing two-shot regimen for ZyCoV-D, data likely by May”. Business Standard India.
- ^ Writer, Staff (24 April 2021). “Cadila Healthcare starts production of Covid vaccine candidate”. mint. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
Zydus Cadila Covid vaccine close to getting approved in India, says MD Sharvil Patel
In an exclusive interview with India Today TV, Managing Director of Zydus Cadila Dr Sharvil Patel said the company’s Covid vaccine candidate ZyCoV-D against the Covid-19 infection is very close to getting approved in India. They are likely to apply for emergency use authorisation this month.
Ahmedabad-based pharmaceutical company Zydus Cadila is likely to submit the application for emergency use authorisation of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate ‘ZyCoV-D’ in India this month. The company is confident that the vaccine will be approved in May itself. The company plants to produce one crore doses of its ‘painless’ Covid-19 vaccine per month.
If approved, ZyCoV-D will be the fourth vaccine to be used in India’s Covid-19 vaccination drive. Made in India, the company plans to ramp up the vaccine’s production to 3-4 crore doses per month and is already in talks with two other manufacturing companies for the same
Although the vaccine should ideally be stored between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius, it remains stable even at room temperature conditions at 25 degrees Celsius. It is easy to administer, the developers said, and will be administered via intradermal injection.
If approved for emergency use, ZyCoV-D could help India fill the vacuum of vaccine doses currently being experienced in the country’s immunisation drive.
Earlier in April, Zydus Cadila announced that its drug Virafin had received restricted emergency use approval from the Drug Controller General of India for the treatment of mild cases of Covid-19.
In an exclusive interview with India Today TV, Sharvil Patel sheds details on all aspects of the Covid-19 vaccine ZyCoV-D.
When asked the status of Covid vaccine candidate ZyCoV-D and when exactly Zydus Cadila would apply for emergency use authorisation in India, Dr Sharvil Patel said the vaccine was getting very close to getting approved in the country.
“I am very happy to say that India’s first indigenously developed DNA vaccine candidate against Covid, which is our ZyCoV-D, is getting very close to approval,” he said.
“We have almost completed all our recruitment for the clinical trials. We have, by far, recruited the largest number of patients for a Covid vaccine trial in India. The number of volunteers who have been vaccinated as a part of the trial is 28,000,” Sharvil Patel said.
Sharvil Patel also said that his company has also included children in the 12-17 age group for the vaccine trials.
He said, “The recruitment holds very important milestones in terms of cohorts because not only have we included the elderly and those with co-morbidities, but also children in the age group of 12 to 17 years.”
Sharvil Patel said as soon as the efficacy data is obtained, Sydus Cadila will file for emergency use authorisation. As soon as the approval is granted, Zydus Cadila will start production of Covid-19 vaccines from July, he said.
“We hope to see our efficacy data in the middle of May. As soon as we see strong efficacy which correlates to the vaccine’s strong immunogenicity in Phase 2, we will file for emergency use authorization. We hope to produce a good quantity of the vaccine from July onwards to make sure it is available to the people. That is the need of the hour right now,” Sharvil Patel said.
He said by May the company will be in a position to talk to the regulators about the restricted use of the Covid-19 vaccine. “The regulatory process is a rolling one. I believe the regulators look at the data in a short period of time,” Sharvil Patel said.
“We have submitted a lot of data already so that it will aid the regulators once we provide them with the efficacy results. We are, hence, expecting to get the approval in May itself,” Sharvil Patel said.
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