'Carried out 200% honest trials': Bharat Biotech defends Covaxin after backlash over lack of data
New Delhi, Jan 04: Bharat Biotech, which has been accorded Emergency Use Authorisation from the drug regulator for its COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin, on Monday said they are setting up four vaccine manufacturing facilities with a combined capacity of 700 million doses per annum.
Denying allegations that the city-based vaccine maker lacks data of Covaxin, Krishna Ella, chairman of Bharat Biotech, said sufficient data has already been revealed and is available on the net.
"We have four facilities coming up. We are planning around 200 million doses (per annum) in Hyderabad, 500 million doses in other cities. By 2021 we will have 7,600 million doses capacity... as we speak we have 20 million doses, he told reporters.
He said Covaxin is currently undergoing phase 3 clinical trials with 24,000 volunteers.
"I think we are the only company I can categorically say has got extensive research experience and extensive publication peer reviewed journals. Many people say that I am not transparent in my data. I think people should have the patience to read internet and look at what our articles are," he said on the allegations of data availability.
He said Indian companies are being targeted as inferior ones and said his companys work is no less than Pfizer, which also came out with a vaccine for coronavirus.
"Don't accuse us of inexperience. We are a global company... have manufactured 16 vaccines. It is not correct to say we are not transparent with data. We conduct clinical trials in many countries, including the UK. The point is we are not an Indian company... but a global one," Dr Ella said.
"We have published in a lot of journals. We were the first to identify the Zika virus and the first to file a global patent for the Zika vaccine and the Chikungunya vaccine. It is not correct to say that we are not transparent with data... we don't deserve the backlash," he added.
He also said the company had "the only BSL-3 (bio-safety level 3) production facility in the world".
Ella said his company had carried out "200 per cent honest clinical trials".
"Give me one week''s time, I will give you confirmed data," he said.
Bharat Biotech has manufactured 16 vaccines, he pointed out.
"We are not just an Indian company, we are truly a global company. People should not accuse us that we don''t know clinical research...," he said.