Home » Mumbai, Pune to help test vaccine efficacy: SII

Mumbai, Pune to help test vaccine efficacy: SII

by Raju Vernekar
0 comment 2 minutes read

IT Correspondent
Pune, July 24:

The Serum Institute of India (SII), Pune, which is in the process of developing COVID-19 cure vaccine in collaboration with Oxford University and AstraZeneca, has decided to conduct clinical trials on 4,000 to 5,000 people in Pune and Mumbai by the end of next month. 
A number of trial sites across both Mumbai and Pune have shortlisted, as these cities have many hotspots, which will help us understand the efficacy of the vaccine, SII chief executive Adar Poonawalla said and added that the company aims to commence the crucial phase-III of the trials of the vaccine titled as “Covishield” in India by August after getting the necessary permissions from the Drug Controller General of India(DCGI). 
“The Indian regulatory authorities have aided us in fast-tracking approvals keeping in mind the requisite guidelines of safety and efficacy. We do not want to rush and would focus only on delivering a viable and effective product for the masses, he said. 
Adar Poonawalla said the company aims to manufacture 300 million to 400 million doses by the year-end, following the success of initial and licensure trials. As part of the agreement with “AstraZeneca”, SII can manufacture 1 billion doses for India and nearly 70 low and middle income countries. There are no challenges in the manufacturing of the vaccine doses and the company will be starting by making 60-70 million doses per day. 
He had earlier explained that the Covid-19 vaccine project is a USD 200 million bet, wherein it is investing in production even as the vaccine goes through the trials process, so as to ensure that it can introduce a large volume of the vaccines in the market as soon as the license is received. However, if this candidate fails, the company will lose the money. Adar’s  father and company chairman Cyrus Poonawalla had on Tuesday said SII is aiming to sell the vaccine for under Rs 1,000 per dose in India. 
Oxford University has reported satisfactory progress from the vaccines test results and is conducting bigger field tests in the UK. In India, it has chosen SII as manufacturing partner, which has to conduct field trials before getting the final nod to ensure they are safe and effective for Indians. 
DGCI has already given permission to another company-Bharat Biotech to conduct human clinical trials and BB has already began trials in different parts of the country including AIIMS, New Delhi.

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