The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Thursday partnered with Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) to fast-track clinical trials of the indigenous COVID-19 vaccine (BBV152 COVID Vaccine). In an official statement, ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava stated that ICMR aims to launch the indigenous COVID-19 vaccine by August 15.
"It is envisaged to launch the vaccine for public health use latest by 15th August 2020 after completion of all clinical trials. BBIL is working expeditiously to meet the target, however, final outcome will depend on the cooperation of all clinical trial sites involved in this project," read the statement.
"This is the first indigenous vaccine being developed by India and is one of the top priority projects which is being monitored at the topmost level of the Government. The vaccine is derived from a strain of SARS-CoV-2 isolated by ICMR-National Institute of Virology, Pune. ICMR and BBIL are jointly working for the preclinical as well as clinical development of this vaccine," also said the statement.
"You have been chosen as a clinical trial site of the BBV152 COVID Vaccine. In view of the public health emergency due to COVID-19 pandemic and urgency to launch the vaccine, you are strictly advised to fast track all approvals related to the initiation of the clinical trial and ensure that the subject enrollment is initiated no later than 7th July 2020," the letter added.