Updates on Development of COVID-19 Vaccine
The pandemic of coronavirus doesn’t seem to have stopped. It continues to infect people at an alarming rate. Near about 5.5 lakh people are dead worldwide from this infectious disease and the number rises by the hour. Authorities are using various experimental approaches to treat the coronavirus. There are more than 110 groups engaged in designing vaccines to fight this disease. Atleast 11 of these teams are at an advanced stage to put their coronavirus vaccines into trials. India has also been trying to develop a vaccine for this virus. Two companies have already developed prototypes and have clearance for clinical trials. Zydus Cadilla and Bharat Biotech International are the two manufacturers that are behind the development of these vaccines.
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has fast-tracked the clinical trials of COVAXIN, hoping to have a vaccine ready prior to the Independence Day
Bharat Biotech is the first in India to have gained regulatory approvals from authorities to begin the Phase I and II of the clinical trials of coronavirus vaccine in the research centers across the nation. ICMR has also revealed its plans to accelerate the trial process and get results before this August 15. The ICMR has ordered 12 institutes to hasten the clinical trials of the Covid-19 vaccine. It is for now, the most significant of all projects that are being closely monitored by the Indian government.
The deadline of August 15 is quite close and is shorter compared to the dates promised by other competitors that are trying to develop a vaccine for the virus. Several doctors and researchers have criticized this claiming that there was insufficient evidence about the vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech to work – immunization against the pandemic will require more time. Disapproving of this situation, they are stating that things are being hurried and there are potential risks.
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) clarifies doubts
After being criticized for their rushed behavior, the ICMR issued an official clarification. They said that their agenda was in line with that of the global companies. The final decision will depend on the results of the clinical trials. Things were fast-tracked in order to avoid red tape without circumventing any necessary official procedures and to hasten the recruitment of all the participants.
Trial of ZyCOV-D and COVAXIN
Authorities call the hastened process coronavirus vaccine development to mark the “beginning of the end” after the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) and Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) approved for the vaccines to be tested on humans.
Besides the home developed vaccines, several vaccine producing companies of India have associated with leading vaccine firms. Companies like AstraZeneca and Moderna Inc. have made deals to produce a vaccine that would help India fight the pandemic. The rising number of coronavirus cases is about to place India as the third most affected country with coronavirus. This report was published in the official forum of the Science Ministry of India.
Will the nation get a Covid-19 vaccine by August 15?
The medical board revealed that the decision to fast-track the process of vaccine development was taken because of the rising coronavirus cases in India. They said that ICMR’s procedures were in accord with the universally recognized standards to hasten the development of vaccines for the pandemic where both animal and human trials could be performed simultaneously.
Zydus vaccine gets clearance for clinical trials
The Drug Controller General of India (DGCI) has given its approval to Zydus Cadila, an Indian pharmaceutical company, to conduct the phase I and II of clinical trials on humans.
Indian pharmaceutical company, Zydus Cadila received the green signal from to start phase I and II of their clinical trials on human participants. A report stated that Zydus Cadila has already witnessed satisfactory results in the pre-clinical trials and different animal studies. It was only after these trials and studies that the DGCI gave them a green signal to conduct human trials of their developed vaccine. One of their main vaccine candidates works with the development of a DNA vaccine to fight the coronavirus membrane protein, which would consequently work by boosting a strong immune response and thereby destroying the viral cells.
Brazil: Sinovac to proceed with clinical trials
Chinese pharmaceutical company, CanSino Biologics Inc., Sinovac has already been granted permission to begin with the trials of the vaccine in The Brazilian Health Regulatory (Anvisa). Brazil is one of the worst-affected countries that is suffering from coronavirus pandemic.
As per the reports, Sinovac doesn’t just have permission for the trials of their developed vaccine, but they also need to transfer the technology to develop this potential vaccine to be produced locally. The clinical trials will take place in 12 research centers in their country. There are 6 more vaccines that are being researched in China.
Lead researcher reveals that vaccine developed by Oxford vaccine will offer good immunity says, lead researcher
Oxford University is also developing a vaccine for the coronavirus. They have collaborated with AstraZeneca, which is a British-Swedish firm. The two together are ensuring that the developments are happening at a good pace. Their vaccine is at its phase III and looks to be quite promising. Latest reports say that the lead researcher, Sarah Gilbert, who is associated with the development of this vaccine, said on a positive note that the vaccine developed by Oxford will offer ‘a good duration of immunity’. The developers of this vaccine have already signed a deal with the Brazilian government to supply doses of this vaccine to them. WHO has vouched for this vaccine prototype and considers it to be the safest, till now.
Vaccine candidate by Pfizer, BioNtech is promising even in early stages of trials
A vaccine prototype by the name BNT162b1 that is being developed by German company BioNtech and Pfizer, the famous pharmaceutical company has proven to be quite effective in its phase I trials. The vaccine is based on mRNA technology. The observations of the vaccination have already been published in the medRxiv, a medical journal, and will be peer-reviewed soon. Pfizer is leading in the world’s attempt to make a vaccine for the coronavirus. They have performed extensive studies since April. Moderna Inc. has also created an mRNA prototype that is all set for phase III trials in the coming week.
Johnson and Johnson accelerate phase I clinical trials
Famous pharmaceutical company Johnson and Johnson also revealed a breakthrough this week after they publicized the beginning of phase I trials of the vaccine they were developing. The company plans to hasten trials of their vaccine in the coming month. They are also working on intensifying the production and manufacturing to ensure that the current demands are met. Johnson and Johnson is also a participant in Operation WarpSpeed, USA, and is trying to develop a potential vaccine to battle this pandemic. Several reports also say that the company has made a potential deal with European authorities to supply the vaccine in a large scale once the clinical trials have been cleared.
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