Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday will visit the Zydus Biotech Park of Cadila Healthcare Ltd at Changodar on the outskirts of Ahmedabad where the company is developing an indigenous vaccine for Covid-19.
Modi is expected to reach the Zydus Biotech Park at 9:30 am where he is expected to spend an hour, before heading to Serum Institute of India in Pune and Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad, officials said. The Prime Minister will review the Covid-19 vaccine preparations at these centres.
The official Twitter handle of the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted, “As India enters a decisive phase of the fight against Covid-19, PM @narendramodi’s visit to these facilities & discussions with the scientists will help him get a first-hand perspective of the preparations, challenges & roadmap in India’s endeavour to vaccinate its citizens.”
The Zydus Biotech Park houses the Vaccine Technology Centre of the company where the work related to vaccine research is carried out.
The Prime Minister is expected to be briefed on the status of ZyCoV-D, a plasmid DNA vaccine candidate being developed at the company’s Vaccine Technology Centre. In July, Cadila Healthcare Ltd announced that it had successfully completed the preclinical phase and has received permission from the Drug Controller General of India — Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation — to initate Phase-1 and Phase-2 human trials in India. The company had planned to conduct human trials on 1,000 subjects.
“The company has finished Phase-2 trials and are now preparing for Phase-3. Their vaccine is DNA based. They are yet to subject the documents and results of the Phase-2 trials. Once the results are approved, trials can be conducted on a larger population which could be over 30,000 persons,” said a senior official of the health department in Gujarat.
According to the official, the first two phases of trials involving ZyCoV-D had a smaller group of humans on whom trials were performed. The results of the initial trails on humans are yet to be made public.
Apart from the ZyCoV-D vaccine, Cadila Healthcare, in November 2020, said it has also completed Phase-2 clinical trials in Covid-19 patients with its biological therapy, Pegylated Interferon alpha-2b (PegiHep), which was originally approved for Hepatitis C. In the study involving 40 adult patients with moderate Covid-19 symptoms, 95 per cent of the subjects became virus-free after receiving a single dose of PegiHep. The company plans a Phase-3 trial for this biological therapy.
In connection with Modi’s visit, a team of SPG officials had arrived in Ahmedabad on Thursday evening and a helipad was being readied at the Zydus facility.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines