Health Care

Oxford Covid-19 vaccine trials in India: Serum Institute seeks DCGI nod

According to a report in the Lancet, the initial trial results showed that the vaccine is safe and prompts protective immune response.

In the first part of this 3-part series, we discussed 50 vaccine candidates who are under clinical and preclinical development, and in the second part, we highlighted 55 candidates in preclinical studies. The interim data from the Phase 1/2 trial demonstrated AZD1222 was well tolerated and produced robust immune responses against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. "Vaccines for this pandemic are not for the wealthy, they are not for the poor, they are for everybody", he said. These can include DNA or modified vaccine candidates. Moreover, the U.S. government has secured 100 million doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine candidate for US$1.95 billion and can acquire an additional 500 million doses. Here, no attenuated viruses are injected. The RNA vaccines are easier to make, but they are a new and unproven technology.

What are the next challenges next?

Oxford University on Monday announced satisfactory progress with the vaccine, making it one of the leading ones among the dozens of vaccine candidates being developed around the world.

Longevity of the vaccine effects will undoubtedly be the biggest challenge, which will be addressed in the phase III trials. "So what would be the fate of protection induced by a vaccine once the antibody response vanishes or is reduced?"

How are Indian pharma companies placed?

COVID-19 pandemic has infected more than 15.29 million people across the globe since the outbreak, with over 628k reported deaths (as on 24 July 2020 according to the WHO).

More news: Highlights from Coca-Cola's Q2 2020 Results

While a number of COVID-19 novel coronavirus vaccine trials are in their later stages, a World Health Organization (WHO) expert recently revealed that actual use of the vaccines is slated for 2021, at the earliest. "However, the application for clinical trial will be approved subject to "No objection certificate" from RCGM after examination of data of pre-clinical studies".

Bharat Biotech has successfully developed India's first COVID-19 vaccine candidate COVAXIN™ and is conducting Phase1/2 clinical trial.

Side effects are common and can cover a wide range of ailments, most of which are unwelcome but not a significant barrier to receiving a jab.

Panacea Biotec in June said that it was setting up a joint venture firm in Ireland with US-based Refana Inc to develop a vaccine for COVID-19.

On the partnership with AstraZeneca, Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla had said, "Serum Institute of India has entered a manufacturing partnership with AstraZeneca to produce and supply 1 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Oxford University".

Trump Administration is providing funds to the health care companies for accelerating the development of COVID-19 vaccine.

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