The Indian Council of Medical Research has selected 12 institutes, including one from Odisha, for clinical trial of the country’s first indigenous COVID-19 vaccine, an official said on Thursday.
Bhubaneswar-based Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital under the SOA Deemed to be University, has been chosen by the ICMR for undertaking human clinical trials of India’s first coronavirus vaccine, an official of the institute said.
ICMR has developed the indigenous COVID-19 vaccine (BBV152 COVID vaccine) partnered with Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL).
The 12 institutes have been asked by the ICMR to fast track clinical trials of the vaccine as it is being considered as one of the top priority projects which are being monitored at the topmost level of the government.
“The vaccine is derived from a strain of SARS-CoV-2 isolated by ICMR-National Institute of Virology, Pune. ICMR and BBIL are jointly working for the pre-clinical as well as clinical development of this vaccine,” an official said.
In a letter to the selected institute where the clinical trial is to be done, the ICMR also informed that it is envisaged to launch the vaccine for public health use latest by August 15, 2020 after completion of all clinical trials.
BBIL is working expeditiously to meet the target, however, the final outcome will depend on the cooperation of all clinical trial sites involved in this project, the ICMR told the selected institutes.
In view of the public health emergency due to COVID-19 pandemic and urgency to launch the vaccine, the selected institutes are strictly advised to fast track all approvals related to the initiation of the clinical trial and ensure that the subject enrolment is initiated during the first week of July.
Apart from IMS and SUM Hospital here, the other institutes selected for the clinical trial are located in Visakhapatnam, Rohtak, New Delhi, Patna, Belgaum (Karnataka), Nagpur, Gorakhpur, Kattankulathur (Tamil Nadu), Hyderabad, Arya Nagar, Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh) and Goa.