Context: Recently, the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) has announced that COVID19 Vaccine ZyCoV-D has initiated Phase I/II clinical trials in healthy subjects.

About COVID 19 Vaccine ZyCoV-D

  • It is a plasmid DNA vaccine designed and developed by Zydus and partially funded by the Department of Biotechnology.
  • It is the first indigenously developed vaccine for COVID-19 to be administered in humans in India.
  • In the pre-clinical phase, the vaccine was found to elicit a strong immune response in multiple animal species like mice, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits.
  • The antibodies produced by the vaccine were able to neutralize the wild type virus in virus neutralization assay indicating the protective potential of the vaccine candidate.

About National Biopharma Mission

  • It is the Industry-Academia Collaborative Mission of Department of Biotechnology (DBT).
  • Its aim is to accelerate discovery research to early development for Biopharmaceuticals approved by the Cabinet.
  • It is being implemented at Biotechnology Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).
  • It is dedicated to deliver affordable products to the nation with an aim to improve the health standards of India’s population.

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