Serum Institute of India COVID vaccine anticipates DCGI nod by 2020 end
He further said that till the vaccine comes, testing is the key and that is why SII has invested in MyLabs.
New Delhi: Vaccine maker Serum Institute of India (SII) is hoping to develop a COVID-19 vaccine by the year-end as it is focusing on a "good and safe" product and is not in a "rush", the company's CEO Adar Poonawalla said on Tuesday. He further added that approval for the vaccine by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) is at least six months away as the company is focussed on following due processes to be sure about its safety and efficacy.
"Once we are confident of a safe and good vaccine for India and the world. We will certainly announce it when we are licensed by the Drug Controller (DCGI), but that is still at least six months away from now," Poonawalla as quoted at a press conference.
He was speaking during the launch of 'Compact XL, a compact diagnostics machine by MyLab Discovery Solutions, that will automate lab processes from sample handling to preparing RT-PCR tubes.
Read also: Mylab unveils Compact XL To Automate Molecular Diagnostic Tests For COVID-19" Mylab unveils Compact XL To Automate Molecular Diagnostic Tests For COVID-19
Replying to a question about the development of the COVID-19 vaccine, Poonawalla said that by the end of 2020, the SII is hoping to have a vaccine.
"End of the year, we are hoping to have a vaccine. So we will discuss once of the phase three trials for the product come about. Recently, there was news about another vaccine candidate which was being rushed. We do not want to rush anything. We want to emphasis on safety and efficacy... and once we are confident of good and safe vaccine, we will announce but that is still six months away from now," said Adar.
"Recently, there was a news about a vaccine candidate which is being rushed. We don't want to rush anything. We want to ensure safety and efficacy," Poonawalla as quoted by Live Mint.
Medical Dialogues had recently reported that Pune-based SII had reached a licensing agreement with AstraZeneca to supply one billion doses of the University of Oxford's potential Covid-19 vaccine, AZD1222, for low-and-middle-income countries, with a commitment to provide 400 million before the end of 2020.
During the conference, he further elaborated that till the vaccine comes, testing is the key and that is why SII has invested in MyLabs. SII has invested over Rs 100 crore in MyLabs, a Pune-based molecular diagnostics firm.
"If you test, isolate and segregate, we can manage the situation till the good cure or vaccine comes around," Adar as quoted by PTI.
Poonawalla lamented that India is not testing enough and added that Indian test manufacturers including MyLabs are picking up the production capacity.
"There is a fear that what will happen if the number of positive patients increases. I would like to say that there is no harm if the number increases as it will help us detect people," he added.
Poonawalla also sought permission to allow the export of the test kits.
"We have enough capacity in manufacturing testing kits. MyLab can produce 2 million kits per week and there is no that much demand in India so allow us to export and we have enough buffer stock for India readily available if there is more outbreak," he said adding they are waiting for the government's blessings.