Volunteers in India will be immunized with a new vaccine manufactured locally against the coronavirus in July.
An unspecified number of people will have the vaccine, as part of a study by Hyderabad-based company Bharat Biotech.
Animal testing suggests that the vaccine is safe and triggers an effective immune response.
Trials are among many around the world – there are about 120 vaccine programs in progress. Half a dozen Indian companies are developing vaccines.
This is the first vaccine made in India and developed from a strain of the virus that has been isolated locally and weakened under laboratory conditions.
Indian drug control authorities allowed Bharat Biotech to carry out Phases 1 and 2 of human clinical trials after “the company presents results generated from preclinical studies, demonstrating safety and an immune response,” added a statement released by company.
The two trials were designed to test whether the vaccine is safe and not effective.
The strain of the virus obtained locally was instrumental in the rapid development of the vaccine, the company said.
“The difference between the strains present globally is something that is still being researched,” a spokesman for the vaccine manufacturer told the Chillylife.
The vaccine is called Covaxin and was developed locally in collaboration with the National Institute of Virology in India and the Indian Medical Research Council, according to Dr. Krishna Ella, president of Bharat Biotech.
The company, which has delivered more than 4 billion doses of vaccines worldwide, has developed vaccines for H1N1 and rotavirus, among other diseases.
In addition to Bharat Biotech, Zydus Cadilla is working on two vaccines, while Biological E, Indian Immunologicals and Mynvax are developing a vaccine each. Another four or five home-made vaccines are in the early stages of development.
The Serum Institute of India, based in Pune, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer in number of doses produced and sold globally, has also partnered to mass produce a vaccine that is being developed by Oxford University and supported by the UK government. United.
India is among the largest manufacturers of generic drugs and vaccines in the world.
It is home to half a dozen major vaccine manufacturers and several small ones, administering doses against polio, meningitis, pneumonia, rotavirus, BCG, measles, mumps and rubella, among other diseases.
Correspondents say a vaccine would normally take years, if not decades, to develop.
Most experts believe that a coronavirus vaccine is likely to be available in mid-2021, about 12 to 18 months after the new virus, known officially as Sars-CoV-2, appears.
That would be a major scientific achievement and there is no guarantee that it will work, say correspondents.