Adar Poonawalla, CEO of the Serum Institute of India (SII), on Tuesday said the coronavirus vaccine by the company is at least six months away from launch. Poonawalla also said that SII will talk about it only when the vaccine is in Phase 3 trials. "We don't want to take any step in a haste," Poonawalla said. "Vaccine announcement will only be made when SII gets a good and safe vaccine for India and for the world. And, this is at least 6 months from this date," he added.
Poonawalla was speaking at the launch of a machine ''Compact XL'' which aims to automate the manual processes of molecular diagnostic tests, including RT-PCR tests for coronavirus infection. The machine has been developed by Serum Institute of India and Mylab Discovery Solutions. "Till the vaccine comes, a large number of testing is the key and that's another reason SII has invested in MYlab. To manage the present situation we need to test, isolate, segregate till a good cure or vaccine comes," Poonawalla said.
Poonawalla also said that this automated coronavirus testing machine can conduct 32 tests per hour. Besides COVID-19, this machine is capable of carrying out tests for other ailments as well, he said. Private labs would be paying Rs 1,000 for every test conducted using this machine, and for the public the price would be around Rs 2,500 per test, Poonawalla added.
"It can be used for a wide range of RNA/DNA-based tests including COVID-19 RT-PCR tests. The machine can take input of various sample types such as plasma, tissue, sputum and swab," said Mylab Discovery. In April, Mylab had said that it had partnered with Serum India and AP Globale to scale up the operations and escalate faster delivery of its COVID-19 testing kits.
Meanwhile, after Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN, another Indian potential coronavirus vaccine from Zydus Cadila recently received approval from drug regulator for human clinical trials.