New Delhi, Jul 3: In a significant step, ICMR has partnered with Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) to fast-track clinical trials of the indigenous COVID-19 vaccine (BBV152 COVID Vaccine). It 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, says ICMR in a statement.
The vaccine is derived from a strain of SARS-CoV-z 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.
In a letter to the institutes that will be involved in the trails of the vaccine, ICMR has said
"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. you have been chosen as a clinical trial site of the BBV152 COVID vaccine. ln 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 initiation of the clinical trial and ensure that the subject enrollment is initiated no later than 7th July 2020."
The ICMR also asked the institutes to comply with the order, "Kindly note that non-compliance will be viewed very seriously. Therefore, you are advised to treat this project on the highest priority and meet the given timelines without any lapse."
The ICMR has selected 12 institutes, including one from Odisha, for the clinical trial of the country's first indigenous COVID-19 vaccine.