Cadila Healthcare gets Central govt order to supply 10 mn doses of ZyCoV-D
Cadila Healthcare (Zydus Cadila) on Monday said it has received an order to supply 10 million doses of ZyCoV-D, the world’s first Plasmid DNA vaccine, to the Centre. In consultation with the government, Zydus has priced the vaccine at Rs 265 per dose and the needle-free applicator is being offered at Rs 93 per dose, excluding goods and services tax (GST). “We are happy to support the government’s vaccination programme with ZyCoV-D. The needle-free application of the vaccination, we hope, will motivate many more to vaccinate and safeguard themselves against Covid, especially children and young adults in the age group of 12 to 18 years,” said managing director (MD) Sharvil Patel. ZyCoV-D is the first DNA plasmid vaccine in the world for human use, developed indigenously by the company against the Covid-19 virus. It is also the first vaccine, which is needle-free and administered using The PharmaJet, a needle-free applicator.
According to the company, the vaccine has shown stability at temperatures of around 25 degrees for at least three months. The thermostability of the vaccine will help in easy transportation and storage without any problems of fluctuations in temperature. Also, being a DNA plasmid vaccine, ZyCoV-D doesn’t have any problem associated with vector-based immunity. The DNA plasmid platform allows generation of the new construct quickly to deal with mutations in the virus. So far, the firm has invested around Rs 400-500 crore for developing the DNA plasmid vaccine, including setting up of manufacturing plants.
The making capacity is touted to be over 10 million doses per month even as the vaccine can be made at BSL-1 labs. Patel also said that by the end of the year, the company was looking at 50 million doses of ZyCOV-D. Earlier in August, the vaccine bagged the Drugs Controller General of India’s (DCGI’s) emergency use authorisation for use by 12-year-olds and above. This made it the first indigenously developed Covid-19 vaccine for that particular age group. Originally a three-dose vaccine with second and third doses at 28 and 56 days after the first, the company had also submitted immunogenicity data from a two-dose regimen of 3 mg to the DCGI. Data for the two-dose regimen had shown equivalent immunogenicity compared to the three-dose one.