NEW DELHI: The human trials of Covaxin by Bharat Biotech for the COVID-19 vaccine has started in India, with seven Indian pharmaceutical firms given permission for testing. India has now joined the global efforts to find a vaccine for the deadly virus that has already infected more than 14 million globally. Apart from Bharat Biotech, Serum Institute, Zydus Cadila, Panacea Biotec, Indian Immunologicals, Mynvax and Biological E are among the Indian pharma firms working on the COVID-19 vaccine in India.
The AIIMS Ethics Committee had granted the permissions for the human clinical trial of Covaxin to begin from Monday. The development of vaccines, in any event, require years of testing however scientists are moving swiftly in hopes of developing a vaccine within months. According to LiveMint, AIIMS-Delhi is among the 12 vaccine trial location selected by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) for conducting phase I and II human trials of Covaxin. In phase I, the vaccine would be tested on 375 volunteers and a maximum of 100 of them would be from AIIMS. The human trials of Covaxin have begun at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna. AIIMS-Patna chose 10 volunteers to start the human trial of Covaxin.
Moreover, human dosing of the vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech India (BBIL) in collaboration with ICMR’s National Institute of Virology (NIV) also started on Wednesday, with the vaccine being given to participants at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna and Pandit Bhagwat Dayal Sharma Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS) at Rohtak in Haryana, a spokesperson said in a statement on Friday, according to a Mint report. The biotech company had got the nod for human clinical trials from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) earlier this month.
The AIIMS Ethics Committee gave its nod for a human clinical trial to begin from tomorrow. “Healthy volunteers having no co-morbid conditions and without a history of Covid-19, aged more than 18 years and less than 55 years, would be eligible to participate in the randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial,” Dr Sanjay Rai, Professor at the Centre for Community Medicine at AIIMS added further. Anybody willing to participate in the trial can send an email to Ctaiims.firstname.lastname@example.org or an SMS to or call on 7428847499, he said.
The big seven COVID-19 vaccine companies of India
Here are the seven Indian pharmaceutical firms who are preparing a vaccine for Covid-19.
Indian Immunologicals vaccine: It is a subsidiary of National Dairy Development Board. Indian Immunologicals has inked an agreement with Australia’s Griffith University to develop a vaccine for coronavirus.
Covaxin, Bharat Biotech: The vaccine has been developed and manufactured in Hyderabad. Bharat Biotech started human trials of Covaxin last week. The company has received approval to conduct phase I and II clinical trial for its vaccine candidate.
AstraZeneca, Serum Institute of India: The vaccine candidate is undergoing phase III clinical trials. The institute said it will start human trials in India in August 2020 and is hoping that AstraZeneca vaccine will be available by the year-end.
Mynvax: The company is working on a vaccine candidate which it hopes to develop in 18 months. It will initially start woth two dozen doses. It has petitioned Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) for Rs 15 crore grant. It is currently at pre-clinical trial level.
Biological E: The vaccine candidate being developed by the company is currently at the pre-clinical trial level.
ZyCoV-D, Zydus Cadila: The pharma major said that it is looking to complete clinical trials of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate ZyCoV-D in seven months. The company had last week started clinical trials with the first human dosing.
Vaccine candidate from Panacea Biotec: The yet unnamed vaccine is being developed by this pharma company. Panacea Biotec has set up a joint venture firm in Ireland with US-based Refana Inc for the purpose. It will manufacture over 500 million doses of Covid-19 candidate vaccine. Over 40 million doses are expected to be available for delivery early next year, it said.
India is among the biggest manufacturers of generic medicines and vaccines in the world. Many Indian companies are contracted in the development of vaccines for various diseases like polio, meningitis, rotavirus, measles etc.
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