Hyderabad-based Biological E is gearing up to launch its COVID-19 jab in August after Serum Institute of India's Covishield, Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN and Russia's Sputnik V. If this vaccine gets emergency authorisation, it will be the fourth vaccine against coronavirus in India.
The Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical firm, which is the largest manufacturer of tetanus vaccines and snake poison antidotes in India, will submit the data for Phase 1 and Phase 2 of trials soon. After this, Biological E will conduct the phase-3 trials for the life-saving jab.
"Biological E has finished phase 1 and 2 trials. They are submitting the data in the next few days after which they will initiate phase-3 trials. Biological E is into manufacturing of childhood vaccines," NITI Aayog's Dr VK Paul was quoted as saying by The Economic Times.
According to Dr Paul, this is a positive step as Biological E has the manufacturing capacity of 7 crore vaccines per month. Biological E is testing a two-dose vaccine. Just like Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN, doses of the Biological E's candidate have to be administered at a 28-day gap.
The Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical firm will not only manufacture its indigenous vaccine but also produce 1 billion doses of the Johnson & Johnson's single-dose coronavirus vaccine as part of the Quad Vaccine Partnership.
So far, India is using two vaccines-- Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN for its nationwide vaccination programme. The drug regulator has provided emergency use authorisation to Russia's Sputnik V vaccine, which will be sold in Indian market by Dr. Reddy's Laboratories.
Earlier this week, the government decided to expand its vaccination drive as it allowed everybody above 18 years of age to be vaccinated from May 1. The Centre also permitted state governments, private hospitals and industrial establishments to get the doses directly from manufacturers.
Edited by Mehak Agarwal