The Ministry of Science and Technology on Sunday said that the approval given by the Drug Controller General of India for conducting human trials for Indian Covid-19 vaccines Covaxin and ZyCov-D “marks the beginning of the end” of the pandemic.
“In the past years, India has emerged as one of the significant vaccine manufacturing hubs. Indian manufacturers account for 60 per cent of vaccine supplies made to UNICEF. The vaccine for novel coronavirus may be developed anywhere in the world, but without Indian manufacturers involved the production of required quantity is not going to be feasible,” the ministry said in a statement.
Along with Covaxin, which is being developed by Bharat Biotech, and ZyCov-D (Zydus Cadila), there are 11 vaccine candidates out of a total of 140 which have entered the human trials stage.
One of the leading candidates is AZD1222, developed by Jenner Institute, University of Oxford and licensed to British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. The MRNA-1273 vaccine, developed by Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, Washington, and taken up for production by the US-based Moderna pharmaceutical is just a step behind. Both these firms have already inked an agreement with Indian manufacturers for production of the Covid-19 vaccines.
Indian institutions have also engaged in R&D for the development of vaccines in India. With the primary scientific inputs coming from institutions such as Pune-based National Institute of Virology and Hyderabad-based Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology, six Indian companies are working on a vaccine for Covid-19.
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