Indian pharmaceutical companies will be able to deliver an effective product to the world, while scientists are moving closer to developing a vaccine against SARS – CoV-2 coronavirus. At least six of them have joined the global race to develop a novel coronavirus vaccine that will provide a platform for the sector, better known for making generic copies of drugs, to showcase its expertise in this field.
The Serum Institute of India in Pune has a contract to manufacture a coronavirus vaccine developed by scientists at Oxford University in the UK and being developed in collaboration with the Jenner Institute, a research and development facility of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is to be developed into a one billion dose coronavirus vaccine. It is developing a live attenuated vaccine for the treatment of SARS – CoV-2, developed with the latest codon optimisation technology and approved for clinical trials by the British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. The National Institute for Biomedical Research and Development (NIBD) in New Delhi has teamed up with Codagenix, Inc., the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines against cancer and other diseases, to produce a vaccine for live births – a debilitating vaccine that it has developed with scientists from the United States and Canada and the European Research Council (ERC).
We will then contextualize and criticize the process of access to successful vaccine candidates and the role of the National Institute for Biomedical Research and Development (NIBD) in this process.
What can be done to increase the production of vaccine candidates so that the vaccine is available throughout the country as it is developed? Given India’s large population, Vardhan said that, given India’s largest population, no vaccine or vaccine maker will be able to meet the country’s vaccination obligation. Considering other new candidates for the COVID vaccine, including a new measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and a diphtheria and cholera (CHD) vaccine, Dr Vardhan said: “Given India’s larger population, none of these vaccines and vaccine manufacturers will be able to meet the requirements for vaccination across the country, even if it would cost several hundred million dollars a year. Given India’s largest population and large populations, I say that a vaccine or vaccine maker will not be able to meet the required number of vaccines for vaccination in a country of 1.5 million people, amounting to 10 million. If we look at the large population of Australia or any other country with a population of 5 million or more people, they would not be able to meet the requirements to vaccinate the whole country, “Vardshan said.
Considering other candidates for the COVID-19 vaccine, including a new measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and a diphtheria and cholera (CHD) vaccine, Vardhan said: “Given India’s large population, no vaccine or vaccine manufacturer will be able to meet the requirements for vaccination across the country. Considering other new candidates for the CoVID19 vaccine – including the new vaccine candidate, the DPHR measles vaccine, and the Cholero-Chola Virus (KHV) – Vardshan says that, given the larger populations in China, India, and other countries with large populations, none of the vaccines and vaccine manufacturers would be able to meet the required number of vaccines for vaccination across the country, even if it would cost several hundred million dollars a year.
India plays a key role in overcoming vaccine nationalism, as it is a major supplier of drugs to the global south. India has spearheaded the AIDS crisis and remains the world’s largest producer and exporter of vaccines against diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), cholera (CHD) and diphtheria, owing to a lack of access to vaccines and neglected tropical diseases in southern India.
Leading virologist Shahid Jameel said: “India’s vaccine manufacturing capacity is considerable and we are working with international partners to produce the COVID-19 vaccine. Meanwhile, domestic pharmaceutical companies in India are working on coronavirus vaccines for India. The focus is on domestic vaccine manufacturers and other manufacturers from outside India who are trying to develop vaccines. Other manufacturers outside India that are trying and developing vaccines are the Indian Institute of Medical Research (IIMR) in Hyderabad and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Indian government’s efforts to accelerate the development of vaccines for indigenous people are seen as an important step in the fight against infectious diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella, as well as cholera.
Last week, the Indian government granted permission for two of them, Bharat Biotech and Zydus Cadila, to begin phase II trials of their two coronavirus vaccines, Covaxin and ZyCov-D, respectively. Hyderabad – Bharat Biotechnologies is working on COVAXIN, which is part of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine development program for India. On June 29, BB announced in a press release that it had received approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to begin trials and announced that the vaccine was in Phase I trials.