COVID-19 vaccine by Serum Institute
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COVID-19 vaccine by Serum Institute to be in the market by 2022

Serum Institute had actually partnered with Codagenix, a US-based biotech drug research firm three weeks ago to collectively develop a live-attenuated COVID-19 vaccine to eliminate the coronavirus.

Serum Institute of India (SII), Pune, the world’s biggest vaccine manufacturer, asserts to have accomplished a breakthrough in developing a vaccine for the dreaded COVID-19. The institute states that the virus-vaccine strain established in the lab has reached the animal clinical trial stage, with feasible outcomes within 2 months. The firm declares that this is the very first vaccine to progress from the lab to the pre-clinical trial phase and can be in the market by the year 2022.

Adar Poonawalla, CEO of SII claimed that “Serum Institute and Codagenix have actually been working with utmost persistence as well as thorough initiative to establish a preventive vaccine against the coronavirus. The viral strain used in this COVID-19 vaccine research is identical to that of the original virus and is capable of producing a potent immune response. Currently, the research is in the pre-clinical phase”. And the partners hope to get some results on the animal testing in two months.

He added

, “The way ahead will be determined based on the regulatory path we take and also which countries allow most ethical as well as fastest authorization clearance for the human trial phase. The company prepares to do human trials in India, sticking to the ethics and also safety criteria. We have actually approached by other companies and things are in the process”, If effective, this live-attenuated COVID-19 vaccine-virus strain will be the fastest vaccine to reach the human trial phase within six months.

The estimated cost of the project is Rs 300 crore and SII aims to get some external funding from various global partners. The greatest challenge while working on this project is that the product will have to be handled under biosafety level 3 (BSL) conditions, which is a very-high containment level. Only a few facilities in the world have high volume manufacturing in BSL 3 conditions, including the Serum Institute of India, which is aiming to scale up manufacturing once the vaccine is ready for the market.

Adar said, “The COVID-19 vaccine needs a fast-tracking of regulatory clearances and due diligence of ethics and safety standards only then it can reach the market by 2022. We will have to see if this can be toned down, and even if the vaccine is ready, the main challenge will be large scale production.

The deadly virus has claimed around 3,300 lives worldwide and over one lakh people have been infected by the virus across the globe since the outbreak of COVID-19, causing a huge global panic.

Currently, at least nine known and unknown drug makers are researching on developing the COVID-19 vaccine or drug. These include GlaxoSmithKline, Gilead Sciences, Johnson & Johnson, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Vir Biotech, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, and Moderna. A couple of weeks ago, researchers from the University of Queensland, Australia had developed a vaccine candidate in the lab within three weeks. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), US is partnering with Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi Pasteur to develop vaccines and drugs for COVID-19.