Tuesday, 7 July 2020
India's first coronavirus vaccine candidate Covaxin will be tested on more than 1,100 people in two phases, the first one scheduled to begin next week. The Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, the vaccine manufacturer, has planned to enroll 375 people in the first phase of trials, global news agency Bloomberg quoted an Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) spokesperson as saying. July 13 has been fixed as the last date of enrolment.
AIIMS in Delhi and Patna are among the 12 institutes selected to conduct the clinical trials for Covaxin. In the second phase, Bharat Biotech plans to enroll 750 people. ICMR spokesperson also said that getting approval for the vaccine for general use depends on the outcomes of these trials.
The company last week received permission for advancing to human trials. According to the firm, it is "India's first vaccine candidate for COVID-19, developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) - National Institute of Virology (NIV)". As per the company note, the SARS-CoV-2 strain was isolated in NIV, Pune and transferred to Bharat Biotech. "The indigenous, inactivated vaccine was developed and manufactured in Bharat Biotech's BSL-3 (Bio-Safety Level 3) High Containment facility located in Genome Valley, Hyderabad, India," it added.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there are 16 vaccine candidates currently in late-stage clinical trials among the 140 vaccines in different stages of development to fight COVID-19. Of these 16 vaccine candidates, five are being researched in China, three in the US, two in the UK, and one each in Australia, Germany, and Russia.