Phase II/III Clinical Trials of Covishield
SII is the world's largest maker of vaccines and it has a tie-up with AstraZeneca, the Swedish-British pharma giant, to manufacture the Covid-19 vaccine for low- and middle-income countries.
- It is the name given to an Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine candidate which is technically referred to as AZD1222 or ChAdOx 1 nCoV-19.
- It is already being tested in the UK, South Africa and Brazil, where participants are being administered two doses nearly a month apart.
- It had triggered an immune response in humans against the novel coronavirus in early trials and is considered to be one of the global frontrunners for the Covid-19 vaccine.
- The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) for Covid-19 related therapies of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) felt that the SII needed to take a 'pan India' approach while considering trial sites.
- It recommended that authorisation to market Covishield should be granted after considering clinical data generated from both the India and international trials.
- SII can now start its larger phase II/III trials, ahead of other vaccine candidates like Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and Zydus Cadila'sZyCov-D which are still in phase I/II trials.
- However, the exact timings of trial beginning are not clear yet. It would take at least a week to get the ethics committee's approval before starting the trials. If everything goes well, the vaccine could be out by the end of 2020.
- The trials for Covishield will have around 1,600 participants at 18-odd sites across the country including those identified by the National Biopharma Mission and Grand Challenges India Programme.
Current Trend in India:
- India continues to improve the Case Fatality Rate (CFR-number of deaths per positive case) and maintain its global position of having one of the lowest Covid-19 fatalities rates.
- The current CFR is 2.11%.