Oxford COVID vaccine’s phase 2 trial begins in Pune

Oxford COVID vaccine’s phase 2 trial begins in Pune
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NEW DELHI, AUG 26 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 8/26/2020 1:00:56 PM IST

Serum Institute of India’s trial for ‘Covishield’ vaccine developed by the University of Oxford started on Tuesday, with the first patients screened by Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University (BVDU) Medical College and Hospital in Pune.

“Today, we have screened some patients. Tomorrow, we will get their covid antibody test reports, and if they come negative, we will inoculate with the ‘Covishield’ vaccine,” Sanjay Lalwani, principal investigator for the hospital told Mint, adding that the hospital aims to have about 300-350 participants as part of the trial.

Indian Council of Medical Research director general Balram Bhargava confirmed that the trials for the ‘Covishield’ vaccine, jointly developed by the University of Oxford and Astrazeneca plc, have begun. ICMR is the secondary sponsor to the phase 2 and 3 trial of around 1,600 patients.

Screening and enrolment of participants in the trial is only done after getting approval from the ethics committee of the hospital. So far, seven hospitals, including BVDU, of the 17 sites have received ethics committee approval, according to the government’s clinical trial registry.

Interim data from a clinical study published in The Lancet journal last month showed that the Oxford vaccine candidate was safe and provided dual immunity against the highly infectious respiratory disease.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will provide at-risk funding of $150 million to support Serum Institute of India’s manufacturing of two promising vaccines by University of Oxford and Novavax under the condition that the Pune-based firm prices the two vaccines at a maximum of $3 per dose.


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