Covid-19 vaccine updates: Bharat Biotech to recruit volunteers for trial, Pfizer files for emergency use authorisation
Britain’s AstraZeneca has launched phase three trials of an antibody combination drug, called AZD7442, that it hopes could be used to protect those at risk of contracting the coronavirus disease for up to 12 months.Updated: Nov 21, 2020, 08:13 IST
Trials of different vaccine candidates against the Covid-19 continue as people across the globe are contracting the coronavirus disease, which has claimed millions of lives as well. With many countries, especially in Europe, experiencing a second wave of the pandemic, the need for a Covid-19 vaccine is being increasingly felt.
In what offers a glimmer of hope, India’s Bharat Biotech International Limited, which is conducting phase three trials of its vaccine candidate in the country, has said it plans to enrol 1,000-2,000 volunteers each in metros like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Kolkata. Also, America’s Pfizer Inc and Germany’s BioNTech SE have applied for emergency use authorisation in the United States for their joint vaccine candidate.
Here are the latest updates on a potential Covid-19 vaccine:
1. Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, whose vaccine candidate is called Covaxin, said in a statement to Mint that interested volunteers staying near the trial site can meet the principal investigator for participating in the trial. People below 18 years of age, as well as those who earlier tested positive for Covid-19, will not be eligible, the company said. Bharat Biotech began phase three trials of Covaxin earlier this week in what is the largest efficacy trial ever in India. The company is also in touch with Brazil, the world’s third worst-hit country, to offer the South American nation its vaccine candidate, executive director Sai Prasad told Reuters.
2. The emergency use authorisation (EUA) sought by Pfizer and BioNTech comes just days after the two companies reported their vaccine candidate, BNT162b2, was found 95% effective without any major safety concerns. In a video posted on the company’s website on Friday, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla confirmed an application has been made to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with regards to emergency use authorisation.
3. Britain-based AstraZeneca on Saturday started late-stage trials of an experimental long-acting monoclonal antibody combination drug it hopes could be used to protect those at risk of contracting coronavirus for up to 12 months. A total of 5,000 people from European countries and also from the US will be recruited for phase trials of the drug, called AZD7442. The treatment from the said drug would differ from that through a vaccine in that it introduces antibodies, rather than prompting the body’s immune system to make them.
(With agency inputs)