Covaxin neutralises double mutant COVID-19 strain, claims ICMR; 'data on Indian variant in a week,' says Bharat Biotech MD

Bharat Biotech's Covaxin has received Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) for COVID-19 treatment in India and in several countries across the globe with another 60 in the process

FP Staff April 21, 2021 14:46:57 IST
Covaxin neutralises double mutant COVID-19 strain, claims ICMR; 'data on Indian variant in a week,' says Bharat Biotech MD

An illustration of the COVAXIN COVID-19 vaccine. Image: Bharat Biotech

While the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Wednesday claimed that Covaxin neutralises multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2 including the Indian double mutant strain, Bharat Biotech MD Krishna Ella said he had no information about that variant and that they will probably have data on it "in about a week."

Speaking to NDTV on the effectiveness of Covaxin against different mutant strains, Ella said that if the government feels that the double mutant might be an important vaccine candidate, this is a regulatory decision that needs to be taken by the government and not the manufacturer.

Bharat Biotech's Covaxin has received Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) for COVID-19 treatment in India and in several countries across the globe with another 60 in the process.

"ICMR study shows Covaxin neutralises against multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2 and effectively neutralises the double mutant strain as well," the ICMR tweeted earlier on Wednesday.

 ICMR-National Institute of Virology has successfully isolated and cultured multiple variants of concern of SARS-CoV-2 virus: B.1.1.7 (the UK variant), B.1.1.28 (Brazil variant ) and B.1.351 (South Africa variant) it said.

ICMR-NIV has demonstrated the neutralisation potential of Covaxin against the UK variant and Brazil variant, the apex health research body said.

ICMR-NIV recently has been successful in isolating and culturing the double mutant strain B.1.617 SARS-CoV-2 identified in certain regions of India and several other countries, the ICMR stated.

"Covaxin has been found to effectively neutralise the double mutant strain as well," it claimed.

This comes on the same day that Bharat Biotech said Covaxin has shown efficacy of 78 percent against mild, moderate and severe cases of COVID-19, as per Phase III interim analysis results.

The vaccine maker noted that the second interim data of the Phase III study also showed that chances of hospitalisation due to the infectious disease were reduced by 100 percent after taking the Covaxin jab.

Due to the recent surge in cases, 127 symptomatic cases were recorded, resulting in a point estimate of vaccine efficacy of 78 percent against mild, moderate, and severe COVID-19 disease, Bharat Biotech said in a statement.

 

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