- We are proud to announce COVAXIN: MD, Bharat Biotech
- The company has submitted its pre-clinical studies
- Bharat Biotech had earlier manufactured a vaccine for the H1N1
New Delhi: It has been over six months since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world. It left the scientists and medical community across the globe scrambling to find a cure while the rest of the world came to a halt in a bid to contain the fast spreading infection. While the experts across various countries are still working on developing a safe and effective vaccine, Hyderabad based vaccines and bio-therapeutics manufacturing company Bharat Biotech claimed on Monday (June 30) to have successfully developed a potential Covid-19 vaccine, COVAXIN, and said it has the permission from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to start human clinical trials.
COVAXIN™, India's 1st indigenous Covid-19 vaccine, developed by Bharat Biotech successfully enters human trials.
— BharatBiotech (@BharatBiotech) June 29, 2020
Announcing the vaccine development milestone, Dr. Krishna Ella, Chairman and Managing Director said,
We are proud to announce COVAXIN, India’s first indigenous vaccine against COVID-19.The collaboration with ICMR and NIV was instrumental in the development of this vaccine. The proactive support and guidance from CDSCO has enabled approvals to this project. Our Research and Development and Manufacturing teams worked tirelessly to deploy our proprietary technologies towards this platform.
According to a statement released by Bharat Biotech, the vaccine has been developed in association with ICMR (Indian Council for Medical Research) and NIV (National Institute of Virology). It further said that the permission to initiate human trials came after the company submitted results that they had generated from pre-clinical studies of COVAXIN which has been developed from a strain of the infectious SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19. The clinical studies, as per the company have demonstrated the desired safety and immune responses. The results of the human trial are expected by October following which further tests will be conducted.
Dr. Preeti Kumar, Vice President- Public Health System Support at the Public Health Foundation of India called the development of COVAXIN a major step forward in the fight against COVID-19 and said that if the human trials are successful, it will be an important medical breakthrough for the country. She said,
Of the many vaccines on which work is going on in India, COVAXIN is the first to be approved by DCGI to enter human trials. All vaccines have to undergo safety and efficacy trials in adequate number of people to prove that they work. If we are lucky to actually have a vaccine that fulfills these criteria, the next step is mass production of 100s of millions of doses to vaccinate. So at the moment, we can just wait and watch as the trials move ahead.
Earlier in the month of May the central government said as many as 30 groups were working on a vaccine. A number of vaccine and drug manufacturers are also racing to develop a vaccine against COVID-19. Last week, Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist at WHO (World Health Organisation) said that British drugmaker AstraZeneca’s vaccine which was developed by researchers at University of Oxford has already begun large-scale human trials of the vaccine and is probably the leading vaccine candidate currently.