Pharmaceutical firms are racing against time as the number of coronavirus cases race beyond the 6 million mark globally. Even as several vaccine candidates have been successful in early human trials, reaching completion stage is still a tough task. The Indian government has now permitted a few relaxations to the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940. It has been done to assist the Indian pharma firms to get the vaccine out in the market soon. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan recently said that four out of the 14 coronavirus vaccine candidates from India may enter the clinical trial stage in the next three-five months.
There are currently over 100 experimental coronavirus vaccines in various stages of development, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). So far, China's CanSino adenovirus vaccine, Oxford University's adenovirus vaccine, Moderna's mRNA vaccine and Novavax have emerged as the top most promising vaccine candidates globally. In India, Pune-based the National Institute of Virology (NIV) has recently been given permission to do a clinical trial for the coronavirus vaccine on 30 female monkeys.
On Thursday, India reported the biggest single-day jump in coronavirus cases. The country registered 9,303 coronavirus cases and 260 fatalities in the last 24 hours, according to Union Health Ministry data. With this India's coronavirus cases have climbed to 2.16 lakh, including 1.06 lakh active cases, 1.04 lakh cured or discharged or migrated, and 6,075 deaths.
Remdesivir was the first drug to show encouraging results in coronavirus patients. In May, the drug received emergency use authorisation by the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA). It also received approval from the Japanese health regulators.
A total of five vaccines, currently being developed by Chinese companies, are getting tested on humans.
US-based healthcare firm Eli Lilly and Co on Monday said that it has begun with the world's first human trial of potential antibody treatment of coronavirus. The first set of patients have been dosed in an early-stage trial which is the first study across the world of an antibody treatment against the disease.
Another American pharma major Pfizer is conducting clinical trials in the US and Europe for the BNT162 vaccine programme. Chairman of Swiss multinational chemicals and biotechnology company, Lonza, has said that it plans completion of two commercial production lines for Moderna Inc's trial coronavirus vaccine. Russia has also said that it is looking to start clinical trials within two weeks on the coronavirus vaccine.