Coronavirus: Human trial of India vaccine in July

Grant Boone
June 30, 2020

The company, which is affiliated to state-owned China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm), said that its COVID-19 candidate vaccine has displayed promising results in early human trials.

India has joined the "hot race" to develop a potential COVID-19 vaccine with a significant announcement that a consortia has got regulatory approval to carry out human trials for COVAXIN, starting in July.

Of the front runners, AstraZeneca's experimental Covid-19 vaccine is probably the world's leading candidate and most advanced in terms of development, the WHO's chief scientist said on Friday.

American firm Moderna Inc., which has already started Phase II trials for its vaccine candidate mRNA-1273, has partnered with drugmaker Catalent produce 100 million doses starting in the third quarter of 2020.

It was developed after receiving the SARS-Cov-2 gene, which is the technical name for the virus that causes COVID-19.

The first phase is "designed to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine", she explained. The indigenous, inactivated vaccine has been developed and manufactured in Bharat Biotech's BSL-3 (Bio-Safety Level 3) High Containment facility located in Genome Valley, Hyderabad. "Our R&D and manufacturing teams worked tirelessly to deploy our proprietary technologies towards this platform", the note by Bharat Biotech quotes Dr Krishna Ella, Chairman and Managing Director of the company, as saying. The proactive support and guidance from CDSCO has enabled approvals to this project.

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Bharat Biotech said it accelerated objective in completing the comprehensive pre-clinical trials, which were expedited through national regulatory protocols.

The company is also involved in the development of CoroFlu, a nasal vaccine for COVID-19, as part of an global collaboration of virologists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and vaccine firm FluGen.

More than half of the 17 candidate vaccines identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as being at the clinical evaluation stage involve Chinese companies or institutes.

This appears to be the first coronavirus vaccine to be made widely available to a segment of a population before finishing Phase 3 trials.

Interestingly, this is the second experimental COVID-19 vaccine from CNBG.

CanSino in a statement filed with Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd on Monday said Ad5-nCoV won approval for clinical trials early in March.

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