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Second Covid-19 Indian Vaccine Candidate Granted Permission In A Week To Start Human Trials

Second Covid-19 Indian Vaccine Candidate Granted Permission In A Week To Start Human Trials
A second possible Covid-19 vaccine candidate developed by Indian pharma companies was granted permission by Indian regulators this week to start human trials.
The Indian drug maker Zydus has been granted the approval to begin testing the potential vaccine on humans in clinical settings on Friday even as the number of infections because of the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to rise in the country with it becoming the fourth worst-hit nation in the world.

Zydus, which is a part of Cadila Healthcare Ltd, said in a statement to Indian stock exchanges on Friday that “strong immune response” in animal studies had been displayed by the potential vaccine and the researchers noted that the antibodies produced in the bodies of animals after injecting them with the vaccine were able to completely neutralize the wild type virus.
It was days ago that the Indian regulators had also granted permission to privately held Bharat to begin human trials for its potential vaccine candidate. 
Zydus said that its process of trial of the potential vaccine on humans would begin with a total of more than 1,000 human subjects spread across multiple cities in India. It added that it also has plans to increasing its production capacity for the vaccine candidate so that it is able to meet the domestic and global demand in case of successful human trials.
Zydus said in the statement that in its in repeat dose toxicology studies, the researchers of the company had noted no safety concerns for the vaccine candidate. The researchers found that rabbits were safe even after injecting up to three times the intended human dose and the vaccine was well tolerated and immunogenic in the rabbits.
Globally, no vaccine against Covid-19 has so far been approved for commercial usage even while there are more than a dozen potential vaccines, from  among the more than 100 such candidates, are currently in the human trial phase. Some of them have even shown good results I the initial phases of the trials.
As on Thursday, there were more than 600,000 positive cases of the novel coronavirus infection in India with the total number of casualties at 17,834. After having imposed a complete lockdown in the country for almost two months, several regions of the country are now slowly opening up to economic activities. 
In terms of the total number of Covid-19 positive cases only the United States, Brazil and Russia are currently ahead of India.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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