Phase III Pivotal comparative clinical trial of intranasal (iNCOVACC) and intramuscular COVID 19 vaccine (Covaxin®)

Chandramani Singh, Savita Verma, Prabhakar Reddy, Michael S. Diamond, David T. Curiel, Chintan Patel, Manish Kumar Jain, Sagar Vivek Redkar, Amit Suresh Bhate, Vivek Gundappa, Rambabu Konatham, Leelabati Toppo, Aniket Chandrakant Joshi, Jitendra Singh Kushwaha, Ajit Pratap Singh, Shilpa Bawankule, Raches Ella, Sai Prasad, Brunda Ganneru, Siddharth Reddy ChitetiSreenivas Kataram, Krishna Mohan Vadrevu

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4 Scopus citations


One of the most preferable characteristics for a COVID-19 vaccine candidate is the ability to reduce transmission and infection of SARS-CoV-2, in addition to disease prevention. Unlike intramuscular vaccines, intranasal COVID-19 vaccines may offer this by generating mucosal immunity. In this open-label, randomised, multicentre, phase 3 clinical trial (CTRI/2022/02/40065; NCT05522335), healthy adults were randomised to receive two doses, 28 days apart, of either intranasal adenoviral vectored SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (BBV154) or licensed intramuscular vaccine, Covaxin®. Between April 16 and June 4, 2022, we enrolled 3160 subjects of whom, 2971 received 2 doses of BBV154 and 161 received Covaxin. On Day 42, 14 days after the second dose, BBV154 induced significant serum neutralization antibody titers against the ancestral (Wuhan) virus, which met the pre-defined superiority criterion for BBV154 over Covaxin®. Further, both vaccines showed cross protection against Omicron BA.5 variant. Salivary IgA titers were found to be higher in BBV154. In addition, extensive evaluation of T cell immunity revealed comparable responses in both cohorts due to prior infection. However, BBV154 showed significantly more ancestral specific IgA-secreting plasmablasts, post vaccination, whereas Covaxin recipients showed significant Omicron specific IgA-secreting plasmablasts only at day 42. Both vaccines were well tolerated. Overall reported solicited reactions were 6.9% and 25.5% and unsolicited reactions were 1.2% and 3.1% in BBV154 and Covaxin® participants respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125
Journalnpj Vaccines
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023


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