'BBIL, ICMR working for speedy Covid vaccine progress'

Covid-19 vaccine: Bharat Biotech is closely working with ICMR to facilitate speedy progress, says PM Modi

The PM is on a three city tour to review Covid-19 vaccine development and progress

PM Modi with Bharat Biotech CMD Krishna Ella and others at the company's facility in Genome Valley, Hyderabad. Credit: Special Arrangement

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Bharat Biotech facility at Genome Valley in Hyderabad, as part of his three-city visit on Saturday to review the Covid-19 vaccine development and manufacturing process.

The Hyderabad based biotech firm has in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Institute of Virology (NIV) developed India’s first indigenous vaccine candidate for Covid-19, named COVAXIN.

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The indigenously developed vaccine's trials on humans had commenced in July.

At present, the vaccine is undergoing Phase-3 tests at 25 medical centres across the country. It will be administered to 26,000 volunteers in total, in the efficacy trial, Bharat Biotech sources said.

The inactivated vaccine is manufactured in Bharat Biotech’s BSL-3 (Biosafety Level 3) high containment facility located in the Genome Valley, on the outskirts of the city.

Following the visit, Modi tweeted, "At the Bharat Biotech facility in Hyderabad, was briefed about their indigenous COVID-19 vaccine. Congratulated the scientists for their progress in the trials so far. Their team is closely working with ICMR to facilitate speedy progress."

The Prime Minister visited Zydus Biotech Park at Ahmedabad earlier on Saturday. After Hyderabad, Modi is scheduled to visit the Serum Institute of India at Pune. 

"The prime minister’s visit serves as a great inspiration to our team, and further reinforces our commitment towards scientific discovery, solving public health issues, and the nation’s fight against Covid-19," Bharat Biotech said.

"We take this opportunity to thank the Government of India, regulators, our vaccine development partners, medical fraternity, medical investigators including hospitals for their relentless assistance and cooperation in the development of vaccines, also phase 3 clinical trials for COVAXIN."

"We greatly appreciate every volunteer who has come forward for the trial thus far and we thank you for your service to the nation. Bharat reiterates our commitment towards developing a safe and efficacious vaccine for all," a company release said.