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The Oxford covid vaccine is seen one of the leading vaccine candidates.
The Oxford covid vaccine is seen one of the leading vaccine candidates.

Oxford Covid-19 vaccine: Serum Institute begins last phase of clinical trial

  • 'We will administer dose of Oxford Covid-19 vaccine to 150 to 200 volunteers in the third phase,' says a top doctor
  • The phase II trial of Covishield was conducted at Bharti Vidyapeeth Medical College and King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital in Pune

The phase-III or the last stage of clinical trial of the Covid-19 vaccine 'Covishield', being developed by Oxford University, and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), began today at the state-run Sassoon General Hospital in Pune, Maharashtra on Monday, a senior official said.

"We have started the phase-III trials of the vaccine candidate. We will administer dose to 150 to 200 volunteers," said Dr Muralidhar Tambe, Dean, Sassoon General Hospital, reported PTI.

"Those who are willing to volunteer for vaccination can contact on the following numbers--8550960196, 8104201267," a statement said.

The phase II trial of Covishield was conducted at Bharti Vidyapeeth Medical College and King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital in Pune.

The SII has partnered with British-Swedish pharma company AstraZeneca for manufacturing the COVID-19 vaccine candidate, being developed by the University of Oxford.

Earlier this month, the SII had paused the clinical trials of the vaccine candidate in the country.

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had on September 11 directed the SII to suspend any new recruitment in the phase-II and III clinical trial of the vaccine till further orders after AstraZeneca paused the trials in other countries because of "an unexplained illness" in a participant in the study.

However, on September 15, DCGI allowed the Serum Institute to restart its phase two and three clinical trials for the Covishield Vaccine after the pharma major submitted the recommendations of the Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB), UK and DSMB India and requested permission to restart enrolment in the subject clinical trial of the vaccine.

Moreover, Serum Institute of India will begin the trial of another Covid-19 vaccine candidate developed by Novavax in next month. US drug developer Novavax Inc earlier announced that it has revised its deal with world's largest vaccine manufacturing company Serum Institute of India (SII) in order to produce 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines.

In August, Novavax signed a deal with Pune-based Serum Institute to produce a minimum of one billion doses of its vaccine candidate for low-and middle-income countries and India.

However, as a part of the expanded agreement, Serum Institute will also manufacture the antigen component of NVX‑CoV2373, Novavax’ COVID‑19 vaccine candidate.

With inputs from PTI

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