India may conduct a separate phase-3 clinical human trials after receiving data from Russia pertaining to its COVID-19 vaccine 'Sputnik V'.
Russia has shared details of its vaccine's efficacy and safety with India. Moscow-based Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, which has developed the inoculation, has submitted "comprehensive data" on its safety and efficacy to Indian authorities, the Indian Express reported.
The said engagement is being coordinated by Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology (in India), and by Indian Ambassador D B Venkatesh Varma (in Russia).
Prominent medical journal The Lancet has already published the results of phase-1 and 2 clinical trials of the Russian vaccine which has been cleared by Moscow regulators for public use.
So far, the Sputnik V vaccine has triggered a "strong" immune response, during phase 1 and 2 trials on 76 people, the report added.
"We are now deeply engaged with Russia on the vaccine front," a source told the publication.
As the data is being assessed by experts in India, one option, according to the sources, is to have a distinct phase 3 trial after getting the required approvals from regulators in the country.
Meanwhile, Russia is planning to conduct phase 3 trials of its vaccine in Brazil, UAE, Philippines, and Saudi Arabia, according to Sputnik V official website.
India is one of the 20 countries that have evinced interest in being part of the vaccine's phase-3 trials.
Russia had on August 11 registered what it claimed to be the world's first COVID-19 vaccine which has been jointly developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute and the country's defence ministry.
The inoculation will also be the first vaccine candidate against the novel coronavirus to be registered. The mass production of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine is likely to begin in September 2020.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh during his visit to Moscow (on September 4) for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting, expressed confidence in the efficacy of Russia's vaccine saying that it will be effective.
The Russian government had earlier reached out to India seeking a collaboration for manufacturing its COVID-19 vaccine "Sputnik V'' and conducting its phase 3 clinical trial in the country. However, there has been scepticism in some quarters about limited data related to the efficacy of the Russian vaccine.