India eyes eight indigenous vaccines

Will give country leeway in price negotiations

India eyes eight indigenous vaccines

Photo for representation only. - File photo

Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 10

India is eyeing affordable Covid-19 vaccines with eight under production in the country. Besides two leading vaccine candidates — Serum Institute’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech-ICMR’s Covaxin, six more vaccines are in advanced stages of development.

Cadila Healthcare Ahmedabad’s ZyCoV-D, an indigenous DNA vaccine, is currently in phase 2 trials, while Sputnik-V, the Russian candidate which has collaborated with Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy’s for India trials, has completed phase 2 trials and will start late stage phase 3 tests next week.

New cases stay under 40K

New cases remained below 40,000 for the 11th day in a row. Daily deaths remained below 500 for the fifth day. Haryana (26) and Punjab (16) are among the 10 states with 78% of the 412 deaths that have occurred in a day.

Serum Institute is involved in the production of yet another Covid vaccine in collaboration with US firm Novavax.

Phase 3 trials of the Novavax-Serum Institute product are currently under consideration of the national drug regulator. Another Hyderabad-based company, Biological E, is working with the MIT, US, on a recombinant protein antigen-based vaccine with pre-clinical trials (animal toxicity studies) over and phase 1 and 2 combined human trials underway.

Pune’s Genova is working with American biopharmaceutical company HDT on a messenger RNA vaccine with human trials all set to start. Bharat Biotech is jointly working with Thomas Jefferson University of the US on one more vaccine, which is using the inactivated rabies vector platform.

Government sources said indigenous production would help the country roll out affordable Covid vaccines with inoculation drive expected to last for well over a year.

Current global frontrunner vaccines of Pfizer and Moderna are messenger RNA vaccines which are expensive and require storage at lower temperatures.

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