Bharat Biotech claims its Covaxin is effective against mutant Covid-19 strains as well
04 January 2021
Bharat Biotech on Tuesday said its vaccine candidate, Covaxin, will be effective in dealing with new strains of coronavirus, even as the expert panel meting on 30 December left a decision on the likely approval for vaccines developed by Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India for 1 January.
Krishna Ella, chairman and managing director of Bharat Biotech, said the protein components of inactive Covaxin will take care of mutations.
His comments came amid growing concerns over new strains of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, especially the variant that was detected recently in the UK, that is said to be spreading fast.
Delivering the ninth Dr Manohar VN Shirodkar Memorial Lecture organised by the Telangana Academy of Sciences, Krishna Ella observed that that any virus is expected to have a lot of mutation.
Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech has developedg Covaxin in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). It has completed phase 1 and 2 clinical trials. The phase 3 efficacy trials of Covaxin were in progress with 20,000 volunteers, Ella said.
However, the Subject Experts Committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), which met on 30 December, couldn't take a decision on SII's Covid-19 vaccine, as it needed more data.
SEC will meet tomorrow (1 January) to further review the emergency use applications of vaccine candidates developed by both Bharat biotech Serum Institute of India (S II).
"The additional data and information presented by SII and Bharat Biotech were perused and analysed by the SEC. The analysis of the additional data and information is going on. SEC will convene again on 1 January 2021 (Friday)," the CDSCO said in a statement.
The CDSCO said Pfizer requested more time to make its presentation for its vaccine.
The UK government on 30 December approved the use of Oxford University-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine after a "thorough analysis of the data by experts at the MHRA, which has concluded that the vaccine has met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness".
UK nod will strengthen the case for quick approval of the Serum Institute of India's emergency use authorisation application. SII is a partner of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca and is manufacturing the vaccine in India.
AstraZeneca said it would continue to work with regulatory authorities around the world to support their rolling reviews for emergency supply or conditional marketing authorisation. AstraZeneca is also seeking emergency-use listing from the World Health Organization for quick vaccine availability in low- and middle-income countries.