Tuesday, 02 June 2020

Serum Institute to initiate COVID-19 vaccine trial in few weeks

27 April 2020 | News

The company is planning to start manufacturing the vaccine by next month

Image credit- shutterstock.com

Image credit- shutterstock.com

Pune based vaccine maker Serum Institute of India (SII) has partnered with the University of Oxford in the UK for the COVID-19 vaccine trial. 

University of Oxford researchers have begun testing a COVID-19 vaccine in human volunteers in Oxford. The vaccine is based on an adenovirus vaccine vector and the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, and has been produced in Oxford.

SII is hoping to bring this product to India in a few weeks and start the trials, based on the success of the UK trials. But even before the result for the trials is out in the UK, the company is planning to start manufacturing the vaccine by next month, in order to save time.

SII is co-ordinating with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to go ahead with the vaccine trials in India.

"Normally vaccine development is a long process, but the regulatory approvals in India have been very carefully changed in the current scenario, for the COVID-19 vaccine development. The University of Oxford researchers have begun testing a COVID-19 vaccine in human volunteers in Oxford. If these trials are successful in the UK, we will start a trial in India. After we get positive results in these trials in India, then the COVID-19 vaccine will be made available by Oct- Nov. This is also dependent on the fact we will have to start producing the vaccine at our personal cost by next month. We hope to build up 40 million doses by Sept- Oct in the hope that if the trials work, then we have the product ready. Typically, one first waits for the trials to get over, and then start the manufacturing process, but that would be a longer wait. So yes, we are starting the manufacturing process early with 4-5 million doses. This way we shall be able to have a decent amount ready by October", reveals Adar Poonawalla, CEO, SII.

SII will be using a temporary facility to carry out the COVID-19 vaccine production. An exclusive facility for this vaccine will eventually be built in 2-3 years.

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