New Delhi: The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) will provide funds to three companies, Cadila Healthcare Ltd (Zydus Cadila), Bharat Biotech International Ltd and Serum Institute of India Private Limited. to develop COVID-19 vaccines.
According to a DBT statement, around 500 applications from various institutes and companies were received for the COVID-19 research consortium. Besides funding the three companies, 16 other projects for devices, diagnostics and vaccine have also been recommended to receive funds.
“Funding support has been recommended to Cadila Healthcare Ltd for advancing the development of a DNA vaccine candidate against novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and to Bharat Biotech International Ltd for COVID-19 vaccine candidate utilising the inactivated rabies vector platform. For the Phase III human clinical trials study of recombinant BCG vaccine planned in high-risk population, Serum Institute of India Private Limited (SIIPL) will be supported,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, three other companies, Indian Immunologicals Limited, Biological E Limited, and Mynvax, are also in the race from India to get the first COVID-19 vaccine, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant tweeted on April 20.
Among them, while Serum Institute is likely to bring out the vaccine by the second quarter of 2022, Zydus Cadila expects a vaccine by the end of 2021 as the vaccine candidates of both the companies are in the animal trial stage.
“If the animal trials go well, we can expect a vaccine by the end of 2021. However, it depends on the results the animal trials show. The government, on its part, is moving very fast in this case and approvals, etc. are not a challenge,” Zydus Cadila chairman, Pankaj Patel was quoted by Business Standard as saying.
Besides this, Bharat Biotech will possibly begin human trial of its vaccine candidate, ‘CoroFlu’ by the end of 2021.