Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International (BBIL) are all set to launch the first indigenous vaccine for COVID 19 by August 15, the council informed.

Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech has successfully developed COVAXIN, a potential Covid-19 vaccine, which has been given Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) approval for Phase I and II human clinical trials. The trials are scheduled to start across the country in July.

The vaccine is being developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Institute of Virology (NIV). COVAXIN is indigenous, an inactivated vaccine developed and manufactured in Bharat Biotech’s BSL-3 (Bio-Safety Level 3) high containment facility located in Genome Valley, Hyderabad.

“This is the first indigenous vaccine being developed in India and is derived from a strain of SARS CoV-2 isolated by ICMR- National Institute of Virology, Pune. The (ICMR) has partnered with Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International (BBIL) to fast-track clinical trials of the indigenous vaccine (BBV51 vaccine).The ICMR and BBIL are jointly working for the preclinical as well as clinical development of this vaccine” the council informed.

The two bodies envisaged launching the vaccine for public health use, latest by August 15 after completion of the clinical trials. BBIl is working to meet the target; however, the final outcome will depend on the cooperation of all clinical trial sites involved in this project.

“You have been chosen as clinical trial sites of BBV152 COVI vaccine. In view of the public health emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic and urgency to launch the vaccine, you are strictly advised to fact track all approvals related to the initiation of the clinical trials and ensure that the subjects enrolment if initiated no than July 7 2020,” Balram Bhargava, Director General of ICMR, wrote to his colleagues.

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