Express Pharma

SII first to develop novel coronavirus vaccine candidate, expects to progress to human trials in six months

SII-Codagenix developed novel coronavirus vaccine strain first to progress to pre-clinical testing phase. Estimated cost of the project is Rs 300 crores

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Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd (SIIPL) recently 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 SII 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 the lives of millions of people on the planet, 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 find 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, SII, 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). 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.”

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 crores. SII aims to secure external funding for the project via various global partners.

Adding to the above, Poonawalla said, “We are in talks with a number of firms across the globe for potential partnerships. We are also not excluding China as a potential site for our clinical trials. 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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