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7 Indian firms in race to develop COVID-19 vaccine

  • At least seven Indian companies Pharma companies are working to develop a vaccine to verify the spread of the deadly virus, which has already infected more than 14 million people globally.

With the number of coronavirus crossing 11 lakh mark and a new one-day highest spike of 40,425 cases in the past 24 hours, the Covid-19 vaccine has accelerated in India. At least seven Indian pharmaceutical companies are developing a vaccine to check the spread of the deadly virus, which has already infected more than 14 million people worldwide. Scientists are hoping to develop a coronavirus vaccine within months because of the pandemic. India is one of the largest producers of vaccines in the world.

Let's take a look at the attempts being made by Indian companies to develop the Covid-19 vaccine:

COVID vaccine

1) Covaxin, Bharat Biotech 

The company obtained approval to conduct a phase I and  II clinical trial for its vaccine candidate Covaxin, which was developed and manufactured at the company's facilities in Hyderabad. Last week, human trials of the Covaxin vaccine began at the Rohtak Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences.

COVID vaccine

2) AstraZeneca, Serum Institute of India

India's leading flagship vaccine institute said it hopes to develop the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year. The institute said it would start human experiments in India in August 2020.

COVID vaccine

3) ZyCoV-D, Zydus Cadila

Leading pharmaceutical company Zydus Cadila said it is looking to complete clinical trials of a ZyCoV-D COVID-19 vaccine in seven months. The company began clinical trials last week for a COVID-19 vaccine candidate with the first human dose. Depending on the results of the study and whether the data is encouraging and the vaccine turns out to be effective during trials, trials can take a total of seven months to complete and launch the vaccine, said Zydus President Cadila Pankaj R. Patil said in a statement. 

COVID vaccine

4) Panacea Biotec

Panacea Biotec has established a joint venture firm in Ireland with US-based Refana Inc, to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. Panacea Biotec said the company, in association with Refana, aims to manufacture more than 500 million doses of the COVID-19 candidate vaccine, with over 40 million doses are expected to be delivered early next year.

COVID vaccine

5) Indian Immunologicals

Immunologicals, a subsidiary of the National Dairy Council (NDDB), has signed an agreement with the Australian Griffith University to develop a coronavirus vaccine.

COVID vaccine

6) Mynvax

The company is working on a vaccine candidate that it hopes to develop in 18 months. It is currently at the preclinical trial level.

7) Biological E

The vaccine filter currently developed by Biological E is at the preclinical testing level.

Vaccine testing process

Vaccine testing is a four-stage process: preclinical testing on animals, the first stage of clinical testing on a small group of people to determine its safety and to learn more about the immune response it generates, second-stage experiments are Extended safety experiences, and the third stage is tested by giving it to thousands of people to confirm its effectiveness.

Globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) is tracking around 140 candidate vaccines, of which approximately 24 are in various stages of human clinical trials.

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