New Delhi: In a rapid development, at least seven Indian pharma companies are working to develop a vaccine against coronavirus.
Bharat Biotech, Serum Institute, Zydus Cadila, Panacea Biotec, Indian Immunologicals, Mynvax and Biological E are among the domestic pharma firms working on the coronavirus vaccines in India.
Usually a vaccine requires years of testing and additional time to produce at scale, but scientists are hoping to develop a coronavirus vaccine within months because of the pandemic.
“At present, we are working on the AstraZeneca Oxford vaccine which is undergoing phase III clinical trials. In addition to this, we will also start human trials in India in August 2020. Based on the current situation and most recent updates on the clinical trials, we are hoping that the AstraZeneca Oxford vaccine will be available towards the end of this year,” Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla told PTI.
“Apart from AstraZeneca Oxford vaccine and Codagenix, we have associated with multiple institutions worldwide as manufacturing partners for vaccine candidates that are being developed. These include Austria’s Themis along with two others,” Poonawalla said.
Others like Mynvax and Biological E are also working to develop vaccines for COVID-19.
Vaccines typically provide the immune system with harmless copies of an antigen: a portion of the surface of a bacterium or virus that the immune system recognises as foreign. A vaccine may also provide a non-active version of a toxin a poison produced by a bacterium so that the body can devise a defence against it. They must follow higher safety standards than other drugs because they are given to millions of healthy people.