Oxford University's trials to resume days after being halted

Monday, 14 Sep, 2020

New Delhi, Sep 12 (IANS) Serum Institute of India (SII) said on Saturday it will resume trials in India once the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) grants it permission. It has also authorised emergency usage of COVID-19 vaccines developed by some select domestic companies.

Volunteers take a PCR test to make sure they have not been infected with the virus, Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said in the statement. However, it added the monitoring board recommended "to pause further enrolment into the study until ongoing investigations of SAE reported in the UK study is completed and the sponsor and the UK DSMB are satisfied that it doesn't pose any safety concerns".

The vaccine had previously generated strong immune responses, and is now in phase three trials - the final step before a vaccine is approved. The research team is going to observe the candidates over a period of time.

On August 11, Russian Federation became the first country to license a Covid-19 vaccine, calling it "Sputnik V" in homage to the world's first satellite, launched by the Soviet Union.

Oxford's vaccine is one of two now being developed in the United Kingdom, alongside Imperial College London.

T-cells are crucial for maintaining protection against the virus for years.

This comes after AstraZeneca announced that it has resumed trials in UK.

AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, as the trial sponsor, can not disclose further medical information, it added.

Sir John warned: "We're probably right at the front end of the second wave now, but a vaccine might arrive towards the end of the second wave".

Around 100 participants in the trials in India had been vaccinated prior to the Indian DSMB review, before which the voluntary pause on global vaccinations was called.

The vaccine candidate utilizes chemical messenger RNA to mimic the surface of the coronavirus and teach the immune system to recognize and neutralize it. "Once it is established that there is no link to the vaccine, the trial will continue", said Barbara, clinical chairman at Mater Dei's Pathology Department.

"The delivery of the first batches of vaccine to the regions is expected in the near future".

In fact, Ad5-nCoV became China's first Covid-19 vaccine to be granted invention patent by the authorities. Volunteers from some of the worst affected countries - Britain, Brazil, South Africa and the USA - are taking part in the trial. The vaccine's phase III trials are now underway and it is being administered to over 40,000 people. The Phase III trial of this vaccine was launched in July and is presently underway in Brazil and Indonesia.

Another closely watched vaccine candidate is from the joint stable of German drug developer BioNTech, US-based pharma major Pfizer and Chinese Fosun Pharma. "I think more likely is the earliest part of next year". Both these candidates are now in phase II of the clinical trial.

Also, phase 3 trials by Sinopharm's CNBG have started in Morocco, Peru and Argentina.