Serum Institute develops novel coronavirus vaccine candidate, human trials in 6 months

Serum Institute of India-Codagenix developed novel coronavirus virus-vaccine strain is first to progress to pre-clinical testing phase. The project has been running at an estimated cost of INR 300 crores


Pune: Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by the number of doses produced and sold globally, recently announced that a vaccine candidate for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is expected to progress to human trials phase within 6 months. The vaccine candidate developed by SII in partnership with American Biotechnology firm Codagenix, has progressed to the pre-clinical tests phase, i.e. the animal trial phase.

The global pandemic of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected the lives of millions of people on the planet, with the sudden outbreak and expansion of the same, a preventive measure has become a necessity. While several efforts have been made in the stride to finding a cure as well as in controlling the outbreak, this is the first vaccine-virus strain to progress to the pre-clinical trial phase.

Speaking about the development Mr. Adar Poonawalla, CEO of SII, said, “I am glad to share that our combined efforts with the team at Codagenix have borne fruit, and we hope to save millions of lives with this vaccine. This breakthrough also shows the country’s preparedness to counter global epidemics like the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The vaccine candidate has been developed using a laboratory-made synthetic virus, which is an important breakthrough as it will significantly reduce the time taken to build a shield against the virus. We hope to be ready with the vaccine by early 2022. Our vaccine-virus strain is identical to the original virus and can generate a robust immune response.”

The vaccine-virus strain will be the fastest ‘Made in India’ such vaccine to progress to the human trials phase within six months. The cost of the project is upto INR 300 crores, SII aims to secure external funding for the project via various global partners.

Adding to the above, Mr. Adar Poonawalla, CEO of SII, said, “We are in talks with a number of firms across the globe for potential partnerships. We are also not excluding China as a potential site for our clinical trials. By August-end, we will have data on mice and primates to submit to regulatory authorities to enter into the human trials phase.”

SII has made waves in the vaccine manufacturing industry with ground-breaking advancements in building a healthier world. The company is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by number of doses produced and sold globally, with more than 1.5 billion doses so far. Recently SII announced the launch of the liquid Rotasiil vaccine earlier this year. The liquid form of the vaccine aims to help reduce storage and transportation costs for organisations across the world. Rotasiil Liquid is the only ready to use Pentavalent vaccine with G9 strain.