The race to a coronavirus vaccine

RNA medicines company Arcturus Therapeutics research a vaccine for the novel coronavirus at a laboratory in San Diego

A committee of subject experts on COVID-19 at the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has recommended the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to grant approval to Serum Institute of India (SII) for conducting the second and third phases of human clinical trials of the Oxford vaccine candidate, as per PTI reports.

Now, the team plans to expand the trial to 320 participants, including high-risk individuals such as people over the age of 75.

Screen grab taken from video issued by Britain's Oxford University, showing microbiologist Elisa Granato, being injected as part of the first human trials in the United Kingdom for a potential coronavirus vaccine, untaken by Oxford University, England, Thursday April 23, 2020. As pharmaceutical companies make headway, the focus is now to formulate single dose vaccines.

The Serum Institute of India, which is the world's largest vaccine maker in terms of the number of doses produced and sold globally, has partnered with AstraZeneca to mass-produce the Oxford vaccine.

The two-stage non-randomized Phase 1/2 study of the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of the drug Gam-COVID-Vac solution for intramuscular administration, with the participation of (38) healthy volunteers, was last updated on July 7, 2020.

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The country is pushing ahead with several vaccine prototypes and one prepared at the Gamaleya institute in Moscow has reached advanced stages of development.

The DCGI gave the nod after a revised proposal for the study was submitted by the Serum Institute.

According to Dr Ashish Bawdekar, principal investigator at the KEM Hospital's clinical trial site, a minimum of 160 participants will be enrolled.

The trial will commence in the chosen clinical study sites in cities that have underserved and underrepresented populations. However, the entire process may well take another two weeks, following which the trial is expected to start. These include vaccines developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, Sinovac, the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products and Sinopharm, Beijing Institute of Biological Products and Sinopharm, Moderna, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and BioNTech and Pfizer.

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