Serum Institute of India (SII) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have announced the completion of enrolment for phase 3 clinical trials of its Covishield vaccine . Covishield has been developed at the Serum Institute Pune laboratory with a master seed from Oxford University/AstraZeneca.
As of now, SII and ICMR are conducting Phase 2/3 clinical trials of the Oxford covid vaccine at 15 different centres across the country. SII in a statement on Wednesday said, "ICMR and SII have further collaborated for clinical development COVOVAX (Novavax) developed by Novavax, USA and upscaled by SII. The partnership is a stellar example of private-public institutes collaborating to mitigate the dire consequences of the pandemic outbreak."
The world's largest vaccine manufacturer by volume, said that the enrolment of all 1600 participants has been completed on 31 Oct 2020. ICMR has funded the clinical trial site fees while Serum Institute has funded other expenses for the vaccine.
The vaccine maker has claimed that Covishield is by far the most advanced vaccine in human testing in India. Based on the Phase 2/3 trial results, SII with the help of ICMR will pursue the early availability of this product for India. The Oxford covid vaccine is currently being tested in large efficacy trials in the UK, Brazil, South Africa and the US. "The promising results of the trials so far give confidence that COVISHIELD could be a realistic solution to the deadly pandemic," Serum Institute said.
Commenting on the association, Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India said, "ICMR has played a huge role in coming forward and strengthening India's fight against COVID-19. The collaboration will further aid us in putting India at the forefront of developing an immunogenic and efficacious vaccine. The pandemic has presented a chance to foster structural reforms in building robust public healthcare infrastructure. The partnership further testifies the importance of private-public institutes coming together in scaling up the management and containing the spread of the virus."
Dr. Balram Bhargava, Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), said, "At present, India plays a prominent role in vaccine development and manufacturing globally. Buoyed by the latest technology and well-equipped facilities, SII has continually proven its research and manufacturing prowess. The partnership is our contribution to lending our expertise and support to bolster our fight against the global pandemic."
Earlier this week, Pfizer announced that its vaccine has a high success rate which weighs over 90 per cent.