GUWAHATI: A potential COVID-19 vaccine, the first to be developed in India, has been given DCGI (Drug Controller General of India) approval for Phase I and II human clinical trials that are scheduled to start across the country in July.
Developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, in association with ICMR (Indian Council for Medical Research), COVAXIN is an inactivated vaccine, created from a strain of the infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus, that has shown promise in preclinical studies, demonstrating extensive safety and effective immune responses.
Drug manufacturers around the world are racing to develop a vaccine against the novel coronavirus; a novel virus is one that has never previously been identified in humans, making the task of creating a vaccine that much harder.
India, a leading manufacturer of vaccines and generic medicines, is expected to play a key role in this race, with several institutes working on different drugs.
In May the government said as many as 30 groups were working on a vaccine. A top scientific advisor to the government said efforts that normally took 15 years and cost US$300 million were being condensed into a 12-month period.