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ZyCov-D is a DNA vaccine against the coronavirus that works through the skin

Vaccination by liquid jet. (Photo: Business Wire / PharmaJet)
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In India, people will soon be able to receive a Covid vaccine that does not enter the body via a needle and is otherwise quite different from other vaccines.

The 70-year-old, India-based pharmaceutical company Zydus Cadila announced on the past On Friday I received regulatory approval (PDF) for a – at least in comparison – extremely unusual vaccine. Unlike Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines, which are based on the use of mRNA, Cadila’s vaccine, called ZyCoV-D, uses DNA-based technology. It uses the genetic code of certain viral proteins to train the immune system in a similar way to mRNA vaccines.

This is ZyCov-D

The doses of ZyCoV-D consist of a “plasmid DNA,” a small piece of circular DNA that occurs naturally in bacteria. The gene code of Sars-CoV-2, which is responsible for the production of the spike protein, is integrated into it.

The manufacturer also takes an unusual approach to administering the vaccine, because it works without a needle. Instead, the vaccine is given twice through the skin, six weeks apart. It uses a needle-free system called Tropis, which was developed by the Colorado-based company Pharmajet. The technology uses a high-speed jet of liquid that penetrates the skin to deliver the vaccine subcutaneously. This has the advantage that the vaccine cannot penetrate the bloodstream.

First approved DNA vaccine worldwide

ZyCov-D is the first Covid vaccine of its kind worldwide to be approved by a state health authority. It is also the first of a total of seven vaccines that have been approved in India for adolescents in the age group of 12 to 18 years.

The company had already applied for approval in July and relied on data showing an efficacy of 66 , 6 percent showed symptomatic Covid cases. ZyCov-D should also work against the currently dominant delta variant. This cannot be verified due to the lack of release of the complete data from the clinical phase 3 study. Zydus Cadila now plans to start producing ten million doses by October and, at the same time, a study for the approval of the vaccine for children between the ages of three and twelve.

In addition to Zydus Cadila, the American company Inovio is also working on a DNA vaccine against Sars- CoV-2. In comparison, DNA vaccines are much easier and therefore cheaper to manufacture. The principle of action is similar to that of mRNA vaccines, because the vaccine DNA is transcribed into mRNA in the body and the already known principle of action then takes effect. Sometimes DNA vaccines are viewed critically because there is a theoretical possibility that the DNA they contain will be written into the human genome.

This is Zydus Cadila

Zydus Cadila is one of the largest generic drug manufacturers in the world, but has also tried to score points with in-house developments for several years. The company is very broadly positioned and produces everything from vitamin and zinc preparations to corona tests and disinfectants to portable oxygen devices that is used in India to fight corona. The manufacturer with 30,000 tons of hydroxychloroquine is also one of the largest producers of the controversial product.

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Adrian Ovalle
Adrian is working as the Editor at World Weekly News. He tries to provide our readers with the fastest news from all around the world before anywhere else.

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