Dr. Shuvomoy Banerjee, PhD, Neucrad Health desk, July 2, 2020
In a time when there are only around 17 experimental vaccines in clinical trial worldwide, Bharat Biotech Company of Hyderabad (India) has become successful to develop SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in joint collaboration with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Institute of Virology (NIV). The research was being carried out at the state-of-the-art BSL-3 Laboratory (Biosafety Level-3) in the Genome Valley of Hyderabad city. Recently the Central Ministry of Health, the Central Drugs Standards Control Organization (CDSCO) of the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has permitted this vaccine for Human Clinical Trials (Phase-I and II) The vaccine has been named as ‘Covaxin’ and it’s trial will start from July this year only.
Dr. Krishna Ella, the Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech, has thanked everyone on the release of Covaxin. Dr. Ella stated that the tireless works of the researchers and staff of his company’s R & D department alongside the valuable advice and support from the scientists of CDSCO has accelerated the research work and launching of this vaccine possible. He stated that Pre-clinical studies of this vaccine have been already quite promising as it is not only efficient in boosting immunity but also is safe in usage and that is why he is very optimistic about its clinical trials too!
Suchitra Ella, Joint Managing Director, Bharat Biotech, informed that the scientists at their laboratory had earlier been able to develop a successful vaccine against the influenza (H1N1) pandemic. According to her, the success of their ‘Covaxin’ will give India the courage and strength to fight against any future global pandemic.
In addition to their Covaxin work, Bharat Biotech is conducting research on a new novel coronavirus-resistant intranasal vaccine in collaboration with virologists from the renowned American vaccine company FluGen and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The future name for the intranasal vaccine has been already given as ‘Coroflu’. Apart from this project, Bharat Biotech is also collaborating with Dr. Matthias Schnell, scientist from Thomas Jefferson University of Philadelphia to develop another Covid-19 vaccine. An inactivated rabies vaccine that had already been generated in Thomas Jefferson’s laboratory is being considered as a vehicle for the current vaccination procedure. Researchers speculate that the vaccine may be particularly helpful in boosting immunity against novel coronavirus infection.
Apart from Bharat Biotech, Zydus Calida, Serum Institute of India and Panacea Biotech are conducting pre-clinical trials of various candidate vaccines in our country at present. We hope that just like the vaccine developed by the Oxford University has reached its clinical trial phase-3, Covaxin also gets successful and help mankind to fight against novel coronavirus infection.