Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, November 28, reviewed the COVID-19 vaccine development work at pharma major Zydus Cadila's Ahmedabad plant. PM Modi took stock of the work being done so far on the development of coronavirus vaccine at the Zydus Cadila research centre in Changodar industrial area, over 20 km from Ahmedabad.
The prime minister held a discussion with the promoters and executives of the company and spent over an hour at the plant. He also tweeted in this regard, and said , "Visited the Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad to know more about the indigenous DNA based vaccine being developed by Zydus Cadila. I compliment the team behind this effort for their work".
Visited the Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad to know more about the indigenous DNA based vaccine being developed by Zydus Cadila. I compliment the team behind this effort for their work. Government of India is actively working with them to support them in this journey. pic.twitter.com/ZIZy9NSY3o— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 28, 2020
On PM Modi's visit, Pankaj Patel, chairman of Zydus Cadila said, "What struck me and left me impressed was PM Modi's emphasis on science and vision for global good. PM Modi is firmly rooted in the vision that whatever India does regarding a COVID vaccine will be devoted towards global good and will benefir the larger humanity".
Zydus Cadila finished phase-1 clinical trial of its DNA vaccine candidate ZyCoV-D in August and has commenced phase-2 clinical trials. Patel recently said that the company is aiming to complete the vaccine trial by March 2021 and could produce up to 100 million doses a year.
After Zydus Cadila's plant, PM Modi headed to Hyderabad to review the vaccine work of Bharat Biotech. He is expected to reach the company's facility in Genome Valley at around 1.30 p.m. Bharat Biotech's Covaxin is currently undergoing phase-3 trials. The Indian biotech company has been given permission to conduct phase-3 human clinical trials of its experimental vaccine 'Covaxin' by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).
After his hour-long visit to the facility, PM Modi will proceed to Pune, where he will visit the Serum Institute of India (SII), which has partnered with global pharma giant AstraZeneca and Oxford University for the vaccine. The prime minister will reach the Serum Institute campus around 4.30 pm and will fly back to Delhi in the evening.
There are at least five pharma companies in India that are currently conducting clinical trials of different COVID-19 vaccines. Apart from, Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, Serum Institute's Covidshield, and Zydus Cadila's ZyCoV-D, other companies that are conducting clinical trials are-- Dr Reddy's Laboratories and Biological E. Ltd. Dr. Reddy will soon be starting combined phase-2 and 3 clinical trials of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V in India. Whereas, Biological E. Ltd has started early phase 1 and 2 human trials of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate last week.