As the world rushes to develop coronavirus vaccines, Krishna M. Ella, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharat Biotech International, has said that testing the COVID-19 vaccine for safety and quality is of paramount importance. During an interaction with members of the Chennai International Centre on 'COVID-19 Endgame Scenarios', Ella said there is pressure on the company to come out with a vaccine quickly in the midst of the pandemic but can't rush into it.
"The current pandemic is putting pressure on the company to come out with a vaccine quickly, but we cannot rush as safety and quality are paramount," Business Standard quoted Ella as saying.
Last month, Bharat Biotech started phase-1 clinical trials for "India's first Indigenous COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin". The vaccine is being developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) - National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune.
On the target date for the launch of Covaxin, Ella said, "We want to do clinical research of the highest standards. We have been monitored by international agencies and communities. It's a matter of prestige for the country and for us. We won't be shortsighted on research and will produce the best quality vaccine."
As per the latest update on Covaxin, the human clinical trial of indigenously developed vaccine has started at hospitals selected by the ICMR. The vaccine development has so far moved at a good pace.
Covaxin will be tested on over 1,100 people in two phases. For the first phase of clinical trials, the company plans to enroll 375 participants to test COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Based on the first trial's results, it has a plan to enroll 750 people in the second phase of trial.
Phase-1 trial is for safety studies and phase-2 is for dosage and phase-3 is for vaccine efficacy in mass trials for different genetic types. What happens at this stage is crucial and will be closely watched.
There are over 200 COVID-19 vaccines in development, with more than two dozen have reached human trials. Russia is set to register world's first coronavirus vaccine on August 12, which has been developed jointly by the Gamaleya Research Institute and the Russian Defence Ministry.By Chitranjan Kumar