From Oxford clinical trial to Russian candidate, latest on Covid-19 vaccine
According to the World Health Organisation, over 160 Covid-19 vaccine candidates are in pre-clinical or clinical trials at present, 29 of them are in the clinical trials phase.Updated: Aug 15, 2020, 16:00 IST
On the occasion on Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that India is ready to mass-produce Covid-19 vaccine as and when the scientists give it a nod.
“Not one, not two, as many as three coronavirus vaccines are being tested in India,” he said from the ramparts of the Red Fort in the national capital. “The country is also ready for mass production of those vaccines,” PM Modi added.
The race to developing a vaccine for Covid-19 is intensifying by the day with new contenders joining in and the front runners making great strides.
According to the World Health Organisation, over 160 vaccine candidates are in pre-clinical or clinical trials at present, 29 of them are in the clinical trials phase. Six contenders are in final stages, phase-III of human trials. At least eight candidate vaccines are being developed in India of which two are in phase -II trial phase.
The latest to create ripples is Russia which recently announced giving a regulatory approval for the “Sputnik V” vaccine for Covid-19. On Saturday, Moscow said it has started manufacturing the new vaccine, the Interfax news agency reported, citing the health ministry. The vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute and the first for the coronavirus to go into production, is expected to be rolled out by the end of this month.
Oxford University’s Covid-19 vaccine trial, which is in phase-III, is expected to get completed by the end of this year. The University of Oxford joined hands with British Swedish firm Astrazeneca to make a vaccine against coronavirus. The vaccine had shown promising results in the first phase of clinical human trial.
Pune-based vaccine manufacturer Serum Institute of India (SII) has already received a nod from for India’s top drug regulatory body for conducting phase-II and III clinical trials on the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine.
Meanwhile, Argentine biotech firm working on the production of 400 million doses of an AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine for Latin America said it could begin shipping the active substance of the product to Mexico for completion. Esteban Corley, director of mAbxience, the biotech firm, said he foresaw the finished product could be distributed in Latin America between April and May, news agency Reuters reported.
The US government has entered into a $1.5 billion deal with biotechnology company Moderna for the manufacturing and delivery of 100 million doses of its potential Covid-19 vaccine, mRNA-1273.
The United States has allocation agreements with Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer Inc, BioNTech SE, Sanofi SA, and GlaxoSmithKline Plc. It also has a claim on 300 million doses of AstraZeneca Plc’s vaccine in exchange for helping finance its research and development efforts.
(With inputs from agencies)