Phase 3 results of the COVAXIN, developed by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in partnership with Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL),has shown an interim vaccine efficacy of 81% in preventing Covid-19. The Phase 3 trial,jointly initiated by ICMR and BBIL in mid-November 2020,was conducted in a total of 25,800 individualsacross 21 sites. The interim efficacy trend of 81%, analyzed as per the protocol approved by the DCGI, putsit at par with other global front-runner vaccines.
“The bench-to-bedside journey of completely indigenous COVID-19 vaccine in less than 8 months’ time showcases the immense strength of Atmanirbhar Bharat[self-reliant India] to fight the odds and stand tall in the global public health community.It is also a testament to India’s emergence as a global vaccine superpower,” said Dr. Balram Bhargava, Director General, ICMR.
The COVAXIN is the first COVID-19 vaccine that has been developed completely in India. In March 2020, following the successful isolation of the SARS CoV-2 virus at ICMR-National Institute of Virology (NIV), ICMR entered into a public-private partnership withBBILto develop the virus isolate into an effective vaccine candidate. ICMR-NIV characterized the vaccine developed by BBIL through in-vitro experiments and electron microscopy studies.
Pre-clinical studies in small animals and hamsters showed promising results in terms of safety and immunogenicity. Further studies conducted in rhesus macaques also established remarkable safety and protective efficacy of COVAXIN. Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trialsconducted in 755 participants demonstrated high safety profile of the candidate vaccine withseroconversion rates of 98.3% and 81.1%on day 56 and 104respectively.
COVAXIN has been developed on the WHO
prequalifiedverocell platform, which is globally recognized with a well-established track record of safety. COVAXIN’s ability to neutralize UK variant strain of SARS-CoV-2 has also recently been established.