Confirming this, officials at the CMC said the institution’s research department has received an intimation from the Department of Biotechnology attached to the Central Government’s Science and Technology Department, to participate in the Oxford university vaccine’s phase 3 trials.
Sources revealed that submission of a project proposal and forming a committee to decide on the project outcomes would take at least two to three weeks. The department is expected to go ahead full steam soon.However, officials at the National Institute of Epidermiology in Chennai refused to comment on the same.
The other three sites identified by the Department of Biotechnology are INCLEN Trust International in Haryana, KEM in Pune, and the Society for Health Allied Research in Hyderabad. These sites will prepare to undertake the final stage of the human trials for the vaccine.
“DBT is closely working with every manufacturer and Phase 3 trial of Serum (institute) is important. This is an essential step because if the vaccine has to be successful and it has to be given to the Indian population, we need to have the data within the country,” DBT Secretary Renu Swarup said.
Developed by researchers in Oxford University and partner firm AstraZeneca, the experimental testing and subsequent production of the vaccine, if successful, will be conducted by the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine maker in terms of doses produced and sold globally. Based on trial results so far, the vaccine is said to be safe and immunogenic.