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India’s COVID vaccines in race to go global
Bharat Biotech is in discussions with more than 10 countries that have shown an interest in a potential COVID-19 vaccine it is developing with a government agency, Executive Director Sai Prasad said on Friday.
This week, the Hyderabad-based company received initial approval from Indian authorities to conduct late-stage trials for its vaccine candidate, COVAXIN. The potential vaccine was found to be safe without any major adverse events in the first two stages of the trials involving about 1,000 people, Prasad said in a phone interview, adding that more than 90% of them developed antibodies against the novel coronavirus. The focus now was on last-stage trials of the vaccine, developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research, as well as seeking foreign partners, he said. “We are in active discussions with more than 10 countries that have shown an interest in COVAXIN,” he said. He declined to name the countries but said they were located in South America, Asia and central Asia, and Eastern Europe.
Over 25K volunteers forPhase 3 trials: The Bharat Biotech will be conducting Phase 3 trials for COVAXIN, in 25 centres across India and a total of 26,000 people will be participating.
SII readying 1 billion doses of 5 coronavirus vaccines
Serum Institute of India (SII) is readying one billion doses of five different vaccines across the world before the end of 2021-22, a report said. Adar Poonawalla, the chief executive of the world’s largest vaccine maker by volume, said his company plans to launch at least one vaccine every quarter likely by the beginning of next year. These will include Covishield, Covovax, COVIVAXX, COVI-VAC, and SII COVAX. Covishield, which is being developed by the Oxford University, and licensed from British-Swedish drug-maker AstraZeneca, is currently undergoing Phase 3 of clinical trials in India among nearly 1,600 people. SII has partnered with AstraZeneca to manufacture the vaccine candidate, which is expected to be launched in the first quarter of next year and immunisation can start by January if the clearances are given early.