Home >News >India >Covid-19 vaccine: Serum Institute of India to start human trials from next month

Leading vaccine major Serum Institute of India on Sunday said that it is hoping to develop a Covid-19 vaccine by the year-end and also said that it will be starting human trials of its AstraZeneca Oxford vaccine from August.

"At present, we are working on the AstraZeneca Oxford vaccine which is undergoing phase III clinical trials. In addition to this, we will also start human trials in India in August 2020. Based on the current situation and most recent updates on the clinical trials, we are hoping that the AstraZeneca Oxford vaccine will be available towards the end of this year," Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla told news agency PTI.

Serum Institute is working on several candidates for the novel coronavirus - including potentially mass-producing the AstraZeneca/Oxford university one that has garnered global headlines - as well as developing its own.

The company is also developing a live attenuated vaccine with US-based biotech firm Codagenix, which is undergoing pre-clinical trials, Poonawalla added.

"Apart from AstraZeneca Oxford vaccine and Codagenix, we have associated with multiple institutions worldwide as manufacturing partners for vaccine candidates that are being developed. These include Austria's Themis along with two others," Poonawalla said.

On the partnership with AstraZeneca, he said: "Serum Institute of India has entered a manufacturing partnership with AstraZeneca to produce and supply 1 billion doses of the Covid-19 vaccine being developed by Oxford University."

These vaccines will be for India and middle and low income countries across the world (GAVI countries), he added.

In the UK, a home antibody test developed by Oxford University with backing from the government passed its first major trial, the Telegraph reported, citing the head of the government’s testing body.

The vaccine development, by the university’s Jenner Institute, is being supported by the UK government and AstraZeneca, which will support the production phase.

The pharmaceutical company said last month that phase one trials were due to finish and a phase three trial had begun which will see the vaccine given to thousands of people so it can be tested for efficacy and safety.

The Lancet Medical journal plans to publish phase 1 clinical trial data of UK on AstraZeneca/oxford university Covid-19 vaccine on Monday, according to a Reuters report.

At least seven Indian pharma companies are working to develop a vaccine against coronavirus as they join global efforts to find a preventive to check the spread of the deadly virus that has already infected more than 14 million globally.

Bharat Biotech, Serum Institute, Zydus Cadila, Panacea Biotec, Indian Immunologicals, Mynvax and Biological E are among the domestic pharma firms working on the coronavirus vaccines in India.

With inputs from agencies

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