India COVID-19 vaccine updates — Zydus, Biotech enter clinical trials, Dr Reddy’s yet to apply for Sputnik V phase-III trials

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  • According to the government, over 30 vaccine candidates are being developed in India.
  • Serum Institute of India has entered phase II/III trials and is leading the vaccine development race in the country.
  • Whereas, both Bharat Biotech and Zydus Cadila are conducting phase I/II human trials right now.

As India records over 63 lakh COVID-19 cases, scientists in India are racing against time to develop an effective vaccine. There are 191 COVID-19 vaccine developments in the works around the world right now, and 41 of them are under clinical evaluation, according to the World Health Organisation.

World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has
lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assurance that India will use its vaccine production capacity in helping nations fight COVID-19. WHO chief said that the pandemic can be defeated only by mobilising resources for common good.

According to the Indian government, over 30 vaccine candidates are being developed in India. Three of them are in the advanced stages of the trial, while four are in the pre-clinical development stage.

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Serum Institute of India is leading the vaccine development race in the country. SII and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) are jointly conducting phase II/III trials of Oxford’s coronavirus vaccine in India.

Here are the latest developments on COVID-19 vaccines in India:

In India, three potential COVID-19 vaccines are under advanced clinical trials

According to
ICMR, there are three potential COVID-19 vaccines under human trials — Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN, Oxford’s Covishield, and Zydus Cadila’s ZyCoV-D. Serum Institute of India has already begun phase III trials of Oxford’s vaccine candidate at 17 sites across the country. Whereas, both Bharat Biotech and Zydus Cadila are conducting
phase I/II human trials right now.

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Dr Reddy’s is yet to apply for phase 3 trials of Russia’s COVID-19 in India

Dr Reddy’s is yet to file a formal application to
begin phase 3 clinical trials of Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik, in India. Earlier in September, Dr Reddy’s lab partnered with Russian Direct Investment Fund to supply 100 million doses of Sputnik-V in India after regulatory approval.


India likely to approve potential COVID-19 vaccine with 50% efficiency


The Indian drug regulator, Central Drugs Standard Control Organization, earlier this week, said it is planning
on approving the COVID-19 vaccine that can protect 50% of the participants in phase III human trials.

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“To ensure that a widely deployed COVID-19 vaccine is effective, the primary efficacy endpoint point estimate for a placebo-controlled efficacy trial should be at least 50%,” the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO)

The Health Ministry also launched a
portal on September 29 that will provide important information on vaccine development, ongoing clinical trials and progress made – both locally and globally.

The Indian government is optimistic about getting a COVID-19 vaccine by the start of 2021. Moreover, the Ministry of Health and information
believe they’ve sufficient funds to distribute COVID-19 vaccines in the country.

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