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Coronavirus vaccine: Bharat Biotech, Zydus Cadila human trials move into phase 2

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New Delhi, Aug 04: As the race for coronavirus vaccine heat up, the Centre on Tuesday said that the human trials of Bharat Biotech and Zydus Cadila for a coronavirus vaccine has moved into phase 2.

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"At the present moment, we have 3 Indian vaccines which are in different phases of clinical testing. The 2 vaccines- Bharat Biotech vaccine and DNA vaccine of Zydus Cadila have completed phase 1 and will begin phase 2 while third is Oxford vaccine," said Dr Balram Bhargava, DG, ICMR.

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At least seven Indian pharma companies are working to develop a vaccine against coronavirus as they join global efforts to find a preventive to check the spread of the deadly virus that has already infected nearly 20 million globally.

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Bharat Biotech, Serum Institute, Zydus Cadila, Panacea Biotec, Indian Immunologicals, Mynvax and Biological E are among the domestic pharma firms working on the coronavirus vaccines in India.

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    Vaccines normally require years of testing and additional time to produce at scale, but scientists are hoping to develop a coronavirus vaccine within months because of the pandemic.

    Bharat Biotech has received approval to conduct phase I and II clinical trial for its vaccine candidate Covaxin, that has been developed and manufactured in the company's facility in Hyderabad.

    Leading vaccine major Serum Institute of India has said that it is hoping to develop a COVID-19 vaccine by the year-end.

    Vaccine testing is a four-stage process -- pre-clinical testing on animals, phase I clinical testing on a small group of people to determine its safety and to learn more about the immune response it provokes, phase II trials are expanded safety trials, and phase III testing is done by administering it to thousands of people to confirm its efficacy.

    Globally, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is tracking around 140 candidates vaccines, of which around two dozen are in various phases of human clinical trials.

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