Vaccine tracker: Covishield expected by December; Moderna readies for launch
It has been almost a year since the coronavirus pandemic began, yet the virus is far from being brought under control. Experts have maintained that the need for a vaccine could not be overstated, especially considering the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy, healthcare systems, and with reports of people being reinfected. Here are updates on some of the leading vaccine candidates.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca's vaccine candidate, dubbed Covishield in India, is expected to be ready by December, said Adar Poonawalla, the CEO of the Serum Institute of India. The SII has partnered with AstraZeneca to produce the doses for Covishield, which is undergoing final-stage trials in India. Poonawalla told NDTV that clinical trials should be over by December if India doesn't go for an emergency license.
Covishield launch in India in January?
Poonawalla added that Covishield could be launched in India in January. If the UK were to unblind their study in the next two weeks and share the data, Poonawalla said they could apply to the Indian regulator for a possible emergency license after two-three weeks.
Earlier this week, Moderna announced that it was preparing for a global launch of its vaccine mRNA-1273. The Phase III trials are fully enrolled with 30,000 participants. Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said in a statement, "Our CMV vaccine showed positive interim Phase II data and we are now preparing for the Phase III start in 2021."
Russia's Sputnik V
Dr. Reddy's Laboratories—that has struck a deal to conduct vaccine trials and distribution of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine—said on Wednesday that late-stage trials are expected to be complete as early as March 2021. However, the trials could go into April or May, CEO Erez Israeli said. The company expects to enroll 100 participants for the mid-stage trial and 1,500 people for the late-stage.
Russia had temporarily paused vaccination: Report
Earlier this week, Reuters reported that Russia had temporarily paused vaccination of new volunteers in its trial due to high demand and a shortage of doses. However, Crocus Medical—the contract research organization helping oversee the trial—has denied that the trial was paused.
Bharat Biotech COVAXIN
Bharat Biotech is planning to launch its vaccine candidate COVAXIN by the second quarter of 2021 if it gets regulatory approval, a top company official told PTI. Recruitment and dosage for Phase III clinical trials will begin in November. The indigenous vaccine has been developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Virology using inactivated SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19.
Zydus Cadila's ZyCoV-D
Zydus Cadila's candidate vaccine ZyCov-D is likely to enter Phase III final stage of clinical trials by December, Business Today reported. The vaccine, which is currently undergoing Phase II clinical trials, is likely to be ready by March 2021. Separately, the firm is working on a second vaccine for COVID-19 and its pre-clinical data will be ready by January.