PM Modi to visit Bharat Biotech facility in Hyderabad on November 28

A man rides his motorcycle past a parked bus of Indian biotechnology company Bharat Biotech outside its office in Hyderabad. File.   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is slated to visit the vaccine manufacturing facility of Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) which is engaged in the manufacturing of vaccine for COVID-19, during a brief visit to Hyderabad on November 28.

The Prime Minister is scheduled to leave for the BBIL by road after his arrival at Hakimpet. After his visit of the facility and interaction with the scientists and others concerned, Mr. Modi would return to Hakimpet and fly to Delhi. The Prime Minister was initially scheduled to arrive in the city from Pune where he was slated to visit the Serum Institute of India to inspect the ongoing research there. The visit has, however, been cancelled and Mr. Modi's arrival in Hyderabad had accordingly been advanced, official sources said.

Bharat Biotech is developing COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Phase III clinical trials of the vaccine candidate had commenced recently and set to involve 26,000 volunteers across 22 sites India.

The Hyderabad-based vaccine maker company had said it is the first phase III efficacy study and the largest such for a COVID-19 vaccine in the country.The SARS-CoV-2 strain, for the indigenous COVID-19 vaccine candidate, was isolated in ICMR- National Institute of Virology, Pune and transferred to Bharat Biotech.

The vaccine is being developed and manufactured at Bharat Biotech's BSL-3 (Bio-Safety Level 3) bio-containment facility in Genome Valley in Hyderabad.The vaccine candidate was evaluated in around 1,000 people in Phase I and Phase II clinical trials. Bharat Biotech had last month received the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approval to undertake the Phase III trial. 

The Phase III volunteers will receive two intramuscular injections approximately 28 days apart. They will be randomly assigned to receive Covaxin or placebo. The trial is double blinded, such that the investigators, the participants and the company will not be aware of who is assigned to which group.Bharat Biotech is also working on a single dose nasal drop vaccine for COVID-19, Chairman and Managing Director Krishna Ella had said.

Vaccine capital

A number of other Hyderabad-based firms are engaged in different roles in the development of vaccines for COVID-19. Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories will be undertaking clinical trials of Russia’s Sputnik-V vaccine, while over 100 million doses a year of the product is to be produced in the country by Hetero Biopharma.

Pharmaceuticals and biologics company Biological E. (BE) has entered into an agreement each on vaccine candidates with Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, which is a part of Johnson & Johnson, and Baylor College of Medicine.

In the case of latter, it had recently announced the initiation of Phase I/II clinical trial of the COVID-19 subunit vaccine candidate.A vaccine capital of the world, Hyderabad contributed to one-third of global vaccine output.

Indian Immunologicals (IIL) and Aurobindo Pharma are other entities from the city that have announced research and proposed development of vaccines for COVID-19.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2021 5:59:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/pm-to-visit-bharat-biotech-facility-in-hyderabad-on-november-28/article33191803.ece

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