In India, the ICMR has funded the clinical trial site fees while SII is taking care of other expenses for the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine ‘Covishield’.
Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Pune-based SII told India Today, “We are at the last mile. All of the 1,600 volunteers have been administered with required dozes of COVISHIELD vaccine and now all of them are under observation for the next 28 days.”
The Serum Institute of India (SII) along with AstraZeneca has partnered with the University of Oxford for the development of its novel coronavirus vaccine ‘Covishield’.
On Thursday, the SII and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) announced the completion of enrolment of phase 3 clinical trials for ‘Covishield’ in India. The ICMR and SII have further collaborated for the clinical development of ‘COVOVAX’ developed by US Pharma giant Novavax and upscaled by the SII.
Covishield coronavirus vaccine
In India, ICMR has funded the clinical trial site fees while SII is taking care of other expenses for ‘Covishield’. At present, SII and ICMR are conducting Phase 2/3 clinical trials of ‘Covishield’ at 15 different centres across the country.
Enrollment of all 1,600 participants was complete by October 31.
Developed at the University of Oxford in the UK, the vaccine is being tested in large efficacy trials in the UK, Brazil, South Africa and USA.
Pune-based SII has already manufactured 40 million doses of the vaccine under the scope of at-risk manufacturing and stockpiling license from DCGI.
SII CEO Adar Poonawalla told India Today, “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,” Adar Poonawalla added.
Director General of ICMR, Dr Balram Bhargava 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.”