The partnership is expected to result in the manufacturing of an estimated 80 million doses of the plasmid DNA-based Covid-19 vaccine in 2022


Scientifically accurate atomic model of SARS-CoV-2. (Credit: Alexey Solodovnikov, Valeria Arkhipova/Wikipedia.)

Indian pharmaceutical firm Zydus Cadila has signed a manufacturing license and technology transfer agreement with Enzychem Lifesciences for the plasmid DNA vaccine ZyCoV-D.

Under the terms of the agreement, Zydus will transfer the manufacturing technology and provide technical support to Enzychem.

Enzychem will pay an undisclosed sum of license fees and royalties to Zydus for the commercialisation of the Covid-19 vaccine in Korea.

The partnership is expected to result in the manufacturing of an estimated 80 million doses of the plasmid DNA-based Covid-19 vaccine in 2022.

The vaccine will be exported to different countries, including low-medium income countries (LMICs) in Latin America and Asian New Southern Policy member countries.

Cadila Healthcare managing director Sharvil Patel said: “We are very happy to partner with Enzychem Lifesciences and provide access to the technology behind the needle-free, Plasmid DNA vaccine technology which is the first of its kind in the world.

“Our aim is to provide new innovations and novel technologies that can support people with better approaches to healthcare.

“This agreement enables people in South Korea and other key markets of Enzychem, the access to a safe, well tolerated and efficacious vaccine with a novel platform to fight Covid-19.”

ZyCoV-D is a plasmid DNA vaccine that encodes the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and induces an immune response to protect against the Covid-19 disease.

It is a three-dose, intradermal vaccine, administered using The PharmaJet needle-free system, which offers painless intradermal vaccine delivery.

According to Zydus, ZyCoV-D is the world’s first advanced vaccine developed on the Plasmid DNA platform for human use against Covid-19.

Also, the plasmid DNA platform can be easily manufactured with minimal biosafety requirements (BSL-1) and its ZyCoV-D has no problems linked to vector-based immunity.

In August this year, ZyCoV-D has received emergency use authorisation (EUA) from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for use in people aged 12 years and above.

Enzychem Lifesciences chairman Ki Young Sohn said: “Today marks an important milestone for our vaccine consortium as we embark on the manufacturing of the world’s first-in-class DNA vaccine for humans.

“This technology allows vaccines to be produced at affordable costs in record time, and DNA vaccines are considerably stable.

“With state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and a qualified workforce dedicated to manufacturing high-quality products, we are very eager to partner with Zydus in addressing the global demand for Covid-19 vaccines, especially in low-medium income countries.”

South Korea-based Enzychem is engaged in developing novel small molecule therapeutics to treat oncology, inflammatory, and severe respiratory diseases.

The company has created a consortium with several Korean pharmaceutical companies to manufacture Covid-19 vaccines, in response to the government’s Vaccine Hub initiative.