Updated: February 23, 2021 7:25:36 am
Hyderabad-headquartered vaccine maker Bharat Biotech expects interim data on the efficacy of Covaxin to become available in the next two weeks, according to the company’s Chairman and Managing Director Dr Krishna Ella. This would be the first time that the company would be able to provide clarity on how many symptomatic cases of Covid-19 its indigenous vaccine can prevent.
“Had we done the (phase) 2/3 combined, we would have captured efficacy faster. But, anyhow, we should be coming out with efficacy (data) in two weeks…,” he said at the BioAsia Summit on Monday. Following this, the company will approach COVAX for supply of its vaccine.
Biological E, another vaccine company, has also completed the first two phases of human trials of a vaccine developed with Hous-ton’s Baylor College of Medicine. The data will be available in a “couple of weeks”, its Managing Director Mahima Datla said.
Covaxin received restricted use approval in an emergency situation from the Drug Controller General of India on January 3. However, since Bharat Biotech had not finished recruiting and vaccinating enough participants for Phase 3 trials, the approval was without efficacy data. The government said the approval was “in public interest”, as it believed the vaccine, which consists of killed virus particles, would be more effective against mutant strains.
Bharat Biotech earlier published non-peer reviewed data on Covaxin’s ability to protect against the UK strain. According to Ella, the company can modify Covaxin within 15 days of receiving the South Africa strain, against which other vaccines like Covishield have not been as efficacious so far.
Ella also said that with a third facility by the end of the week, Bharat Biotech would be able to manufacture 40 million doses of Covaxin every month.
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