Zydus Cadila Healthcare has received approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for human trials of its coronavirus vaccine candidate. This is the second vaccine candidate to be approved for human trials in India after Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN that has been developed in collaboration with Indian Council of Medical Research and National Institute of Virology (NIV).
The approval was fast-tracked after the expert committee's recommendation. "DCGI Dr V G Somani has given approval for the phase I and II clinical trials (on humans) of the potential novel coronavirus vaccine developed by Zydus Cadila Healthcare Ltd on Thursday after its animal studies were found to be successful," an official source told PTI.
The DCGI approved the vaccine candidate for human trials after Zydus Cadila's candidate was found to be safe. The company is likely to start enrolment of subjects soon. "The phase I and II trials will take around three months to be completed," the source said.
In May, the government said there are 30 groups in India working to find a COVID vaccine. India is working to find a coronavirus vaccine in three ways - fully indigenous, collaboration with foreign players where India is leading, and collaborations where others are leading the development. Vaccines normally take 10-15 years to develop and cost $200-300 million but global efforts are on to achieve this in one year.
India has so far reported over 6.04 lakh cases with 2,26,947 active cases, 3,59,859 discharges and 17,834 deaths. India is the fourth worst-affected country in the world after the US, Brazil and Russia.