Hyderabad: The year 2020 was all about lockdowns, understanding the SARS-CoV-2, preparing and fighting the pandemic. While Covid-19 continues to remain active, the year 2021, however, is definitely all about getting vaccinated in large numbers and put an end to the pandemic quickly. Apart from the existing two vaccines i.e. Covidshield by Serum Institute and Covaxin from Bharat Biotech, there are at least four to five more vaccine candidates that are in advanced stages of clinical trials and are expected to get a nod from the regulatory authorities in the coming days.
Under development by Ahmedabad-based Zydus-Cadilla, this potential vaccine is undergoing phase III clinical trials at 50 multiple centres across the country. The company has recruited 28,216 individuals aged between 12 years and 99 years for the phase III trials. The phase I and phase II human trials are already over.
The Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy’s Laboratories is collaborating with the Russian vaccine firm and are jointly conducting phase II and III clinical trials to assess the safety and immunogenicity of Sputnik vaccine. The phase III clinical trials are already underway at 25 sites across India with 1,500 to 2,000 volunteers participating in it. The Sputnik vaccine efficacy results, which were published in The Lancet, were close to 92 per cent.
Biological E Ltd
The Hyderabad-based Biological-E Ltd is undertaking phase I and II human clinical trials for its proposed Covid vaccine candidates. The phase I and II clinical trials are underway at five different locations on a sample size of 360 to 400 participants. The Biological E Ltd is collaborating with Dynavax Technologies Corporation, a US-based biopharma company and Baylor College of Medicine from Texas, and has received approval from Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI). The results of phase I and II are expected in the coming days.
Indian Immunologicals Ltd
Another top Hyderabad-based animal and human-based pharmaceutical company, IIL is preparing ground and is reportedly in talks with US-based Moderna for a possible technology transfer of the Moderna Covid vaccine to India. Along with Pfizer, the Moderna vaccine was amongst the first vaccines that displayed 90 per cent efficacy against the virus.
Gennova Covid vaccine
The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India is collaborating with Pune-based Gennova Pharmaceuticals to develop an RNA based vaccine, on the lines of the vaccine developed by Pfizer. The company is undertaking phase I and II trials and reportedly will soon take up phase III trials. Unlike Pfizer vaccine, which has to be maintained at extremely cold temperatures, the Gennovo vaccine can be stored in a normal fridge.
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