In this illustrative photograph, vials stand on a table labelled ‘Covaxin’. Photo: Reuters.
New Delhi: After Pfizer and Serum Institute, Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical firm Bharat Biotech on Monday applied to the central drug regulator seeking emergency use authorisation for its COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin, official sources said.
Covaxin is being indigenously developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
The Hyderabad-based firm is conducting phase 3 clinical trials of its vaccine candidate at around 25 sites around the country, including in Delhi, Mumbai, Patna and Lucknow.
The firm, while applying for the phase-3 trial, had stated that the vaccine was well-tolerated in all dose groups and no serious adverse events have been reported. The most common adverse event was transient pain at the injection site, a source said.
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had on October 23 granted permission to the firm for conducting phase-3 clinical trial of Covaxin after assessing the safety and immunogenicity data of phase 1 and 2 trials.
An expert committee of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) will meet on Wednesday to review applications of Pfizer, Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech seeking emergency use authorisation for their COVID-19 vaccine candidates.
At an all-party meeting on December 4, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had expressed hope that a COVID-19 vaccine may be ready in a few weeks.
That evening, the Indian arm of US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer had sought approval for its vaccine from the central drug regulator, after the firm secured such clearance in the UK and Bahrain.
The Serum Institute sought the nod for the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine, Covishield, on December 6.
“DCGI has already started processing the applications. The subject expert committee on COVID-19 at CDSCO will deliberate on the applications by Pfizer, Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech seeking emergency use authorisation for their COVID-19 vaccines on December 9,” a source said.