ICMR-Bharat Biotech aims to launch COVID-19 vaccine by Aug 15

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Thursday partnered with Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) to fast-track clinical trials of the indigenous COVID-19 vaccine (BBV152 COVID Vaccine). In an official statement, ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava stated that ICMR aims to launch the indigenous COVID-19 vaccine by August 15.

“It is envisaged to launch the vaccine for public health use latest by 15th August 2020 after completion of all clinical trials. BBIL is working expeditiously to meet the target, however, final outcome will depend on the cooperation of all clinical trial sites involved in this project,” read the statement.

“This is the first indigenous vaccine being developed by India and is one of the top priority projects which is being monitored at the topmost level of the Government. The vaccine is derived from a strain of SARS-CoV-2 isolated by ICMR-National Institute of Virology, Pune. ICMR and BBIL are jointly working for the preclinical as well as clinical development of this vaccine,” also said the statement.

A total of 12 institutes have been asked by the ICMR to fast track clinical trials of the vaccine as it is being considered the topmost priority projects which are being monitored by the government.

“You have been chosen as a clinical trial site of the BBV152 COVID Vaccine. In view of the public health emergency due to COVID-19 pandemic and urgency, to launch the vaccine, you are strictly advised to fast track all approvals related to the initiation of the clinical trial and ensure that the subject enrollment is initiated no later than 7, July 2020,” stated Dr. Bharagava in a letter.

“You have been chosen as a clinical trial site of the BBV152 COVID Vaccine. In view of the public health emergency due to COVID-19 pandemic and urgency to launch the vaccine, you are strictly advised to fast track all approvals related to the initiation of the clinical trial and ensure that the subject enrollment is initiated no later than 7th July 2020,” the letter added.

India’s coronavirus tally crossed 6 lakh cases yesterday after 19,148 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours.

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