PM Modi to interact with teams working on developing COVID-19 vaccine today: What you should know
New Delhi, Nov 30: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with three teams involved in developing COVID-19 vaccine via video conferencing on Monday. The teams he will interact with are from Gennova Biopharma, Biological E and Dr. Reddy's.
Here's what we know about these firms and their vaccine candidates:
Gennova Biopharmaceuticals, developing India's first mRNA vaccine.
This Pune-based company is yet to start human trials for what could be India's first mRNA vaccine. RNA vaccines operate by adding an mRNA sequence (the molecule that tells cells what to build) coded for a particular disease antigen, unlike a regular vaccine. Once generated within the body, the antigen is recognised by the immune system, preparing it to battle the real thing.
While mRNA technology requires extremely low temperatures, the company says they are working towards a vaccine that would be stored at the standard temperature of 2 to 8 degree Celsius.
Dr Reddy's Labs, conducting vaccine trials for Russia's Sputnik V
The Russia-developed Sputnik V vaccine against coronavirus has been found to be over 95 percent effective. Dr. Reddy's and Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russias sovereign wealth fund, entered into a partnership last month to conduct clinical trials of Sputnik V and its distribution in India.
As part of the partnership, RDIF shall supply 100 million doses of the vaccine to Dr. Reddy's upon regulatory approval in India.
On August 11, the Sputnik V vaccine developed by the Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology was registered by the Ministry of Health of Russia and became the world's first registered vaccine against Covid-19 based on the human adenoviral vectors platform. Sputnik V is currently undergoing phase 3 clinical trials in Russia and the proposed number of subjects is 40,000.
Biological E's vaccine, developed by US Baylor College of Medicine
Biological E. Limited (BE), a Hyderabad-based vaccines and pharmaceutical company has initiated a Phase I/II clinical trial of its COVID-19 subunit vaccine candidate in India following approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI).
The announcement was made jointly by BE, Dynavax Technologies Corporation (Dynavax), a US-based vaccine focused biopharmaceutical company, and Baylor College of Medicine, a health sciences university in Houston.
The results of this clinical trial are expected to be available by February 2021. The vaccine candidate includes an antigen, in-licensed from BCM Ventures, Baylor College of Medicine's integrated commercialization team, along with Dynavax's advanced adjuvant CpG 1018.
Adjuvantis a pharmacological or immunological agent that improves the immune response of a vaccine.
BE's Phase I/II clinical trial will evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine candidate at three dose levels adjuvanted with CpG 1018 plus alum, in about 360 healthy subjects in the age range of 18 to 65 years.
Amid a global race to come out with an effective vaccine to check the pandemic that had ravaged the world, Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech too had announced that their vaccine appears 95 percent effective at preventing mild to severe COVID-19 disease in a large, ongoing study.
US-based biotechnology giant Moderna also announced that its COVID-19 vaccine has shown to be 94.5 percent effective in preventing the deadly disease.