Zydus Cadila seeks emergency use authorisation (EUA) for ZyCov-D vaccine
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – Health and GS-III – Biotechnology
- Zydus Cadila has applied to the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), the national drugs regulator, seeking emergency use authorisation (EUA) for ZyCov-D, its Covid-19 vaccine.
- If approved, ZyCov-D will be the world’s first DNA vaccine against infection with SARS-CoV-2.
- It is a “plasmid DNA” vaccine.
- It is a vaccine that uses a genetically engineered, non-replicating version of a type of DNA molecule known as a ‘plasmid’.
- A plasmid is a small, often circular DNA molecule found in bacteria and other cells. They generally carry only a small number of genes, notably some associated with antibiotic resistance.
- The plasmids in this case are coded with the instructions to make the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2
- Vaccination gives the code to cells in the recipient’s body, so they can begin making the spiky outer layer of the virus.
- The immune system is expected to recognize this as a threat and develop antibodies in response.
- The other unique thing about the vaccine is the way it is given. No needle is used — instead, a spring-powered device delivers the shot as a narrow, precise stream of fluid that penetrates the skin.
- ZyCov-D has been developed with the support of Department of Biotechnology and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Difference between conventional and gene-based vaccines
- In contrast to vaccines that employ recombinant bacteria or viruses, genetic vaccines consist only of DNA (as plasmids) or RNA (as mRNA), which is taken up by cells and translated into protein.
- Gene based vaccines use part of virus’ own genes to stimulate an immune response.
Advantages of gene based vaccines
- Relatively inexpensive
- Easy to manufacture and use
- Safe and non-infectious
- Generates stronger type of immunity