The science behind India’s new nasal vaccine for COVID-19 has its roots in St. Louis.
India-based drug company Bharat Biotech announced Tuesday that its nasal vaccine had received emergency approval. The vaccine technology was licensed from Washington University.
Dr. Michael Diamond, a Washington University professor and viral immunologist, said he began working on the vaccine in the spring of 2020 with fellow Washington University professor Dr. David Curiel. The world’s scientific community was just mobilizing on its massive, urgent search for methods to treat and prevent the new coronavirus.
Diamond and Curiel knew many other researchers were racing to develop vaccines, but they didn’t see anyone else pursuing oral or nasal vaccines.
Their work is now making its public debut nearly two years after the injectable products made by Pfizer, Moderna and others. But it could become a strong tool in the fight against COVID-19. In an interview in 2020, Curiel recalled Albert Sabin’s oral polio vaccine, which came several years after Jonas Salk’s injectable vaccine but proved to be safer and more effective.