COVAXIN of Bharat Biotech enters Phase III trials: Largest COVID-19 clinical trial of India
On November 16, 2020 the Bharat Biotech announced the commencement of Phase III trials of COVAXIN vaccines in India. The trials will involve 26,000 volunteers. It is to be held in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research. The trials are the largest clinical trials that is conducted for COVID-19 vaccine in the country.
The trial is also the first phase III trail for a COVID-19 vaccine in the country. The trial has been approved by the Drugs Controller General of India. Under the trial, the volunteers will receive two intramuscular injections at a time gap of 28 days.
COVAXIN was indigenously developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with National Institute of Virology and Indian Council of Medical Research. The vaccine was developed at a Bio-Safety Level 3 bio-containment facility.
COVID-19 vaccine development in other countries
The Moderna biotech firm of United States is developing COVID-19 vaccine using messenger RNA or mRNA. It is to be noted that mRNA has not been approved for any disease so far. On November 16, 2020, Moderna claimed that its vaccine is 90% efficient.
The US Government has signed a deal with the company to buy 100 million doses for 2 billion USD. It is expected that Pfizer will distribute 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021.
Both Moderna and Pfizer use mRNA technology. This is the first time the technology is being used in generating a vaccine.
The Novavax is making a COVID-19 vaccine that consists of two shots and the shots are given at a time gap of 21 days.
Johnson and Johnson
The biotech firm is expected to produce 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021. This includes 100 million doses for the US as well.
Sputnik V is the Russian vaccine that is under clinical trials in several countries including India. It is backed by Russian Direct Investment Fund
Three Chinese companies namely Sinovac, Sinopharm and Casino Biologics are developing COVID-19 vaccines.
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