India's first COVID-19 vaccine candidate approved for human trials

India Coronavirus Vaccine Update

Bharat Biotech, a leading vaccine and bio-therapeutics manufacturers is all geared up to conduct human clinical trials in July with Covaxin to battle the coronavirus.

The vaccine was jointly developed by CanSino and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology, part of the Academy of Military Medical Sciences.

Announcing the development milestone for the first indigenous vaccine candidate Covaxin, Bharat Biotech chairman Dr Krishna Ella said, "The collaboration with ICMR and NIV was instrumental in the development of this vaccine". "The proactive support and guidance from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation have enabled approvals to this project". The first two phases of human trials for the vaccine, called Covaxin, are scheduled to start across the country in July.

There are more than 130 vaccines in pre-clinical development from a range of pharma companies, academic institutions and biotechs.

Safety trials are meant to ensure that candidate vaccines are safe for use in humans while efficacy trials are created to determine whether it can protect recipients from the infection.

Coronavirus Vaccine Antibody
Image Credit Deposit

If these trials are successful, the vaccine will then need to receive regulatory approval, after which it could be manufactured and sold.

The Ad5-nCoV is one of China's eight vaccine candidates approved for human trials at home and overseas for the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus. Of these 16 vaccine candidates, five are being researched in China, three in the USA, two in the United Kingdom, and one each in Australia, Germany, and Russian Federation.

According to medical journal The Lancet there have already been more than 1,000 clinical trials on dozens of pharmaceutical treatments for the virus but no totally effective medical intervention has been found.

The company also came up with a vaccine for H1N1 or Swine Flu epidemic several years ago. However, all of them are in pre-clinical stage as of now.

The company is also involved in the development of CoroFlu, a nasal vaccine for COVID-19, as part of an global collaboration of virologists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and vaccine firm FluGen. Yet, a cure for COVID-19 has not been found.


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