Coronavirus Outbreak: Indian firm begins coronavirus vaccine test on animals

Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd (SIIPL) has announced that a vaccine candidate for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is expected to progress to human trials phase within six months.

The vaccine candidate developed by SIIPL, in partnership with American Biotechnology firm Codagenix, has progressed to the pre-clinical tests phase, i.e. the animal trial phase.

The global pandemic of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected lives of millions of people globally. With the sudden outbreak and expansion of the same, a preventive measure has become a necessity.

While several efforts have been made in the stride to finding a cure, as well as in controlling the outbreak, this is the first vaccine-virus strain to progress to the pre-clinical trial phase.

Speaking about the development, Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India, said, “I am glad to share that our combined efforts with the team at Codagenix have borne fruit, and we hope to save millions of lives with this vaccine”.

“This breakthrough also shows the country’s preparedness to counter global epidemics like the novel coronavirus (COVID-19),” Poonawala added.

He also said that the vaccine candidate has been developed using a laboratory-made synthetic virus, which is an important breakthrough as it will significantly reduce the time taken to build a shield against the virus.

“We hope to be ready with the vaccine by early 2022. Our vaccine-virus strain is identical to the original virus and can generate a robust immune response,” Adar Poonawala said.

The vaccine-virus strain will be the fastest ‘Made in India’ such vaccine to progress to the human trials phase within six months. The cost of the project is upto Rs 300 crore, SII aims to secure external funding for the project via various global partners.

Adding to the above, Adar Poonawalla, CEO of SII, said, “By August-end, we will have data on mice and primates to submit to regulatory authorities to enter into the human trials phase.”

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