India’s Bharat Biotech applies to hold COVAXIN clinical trials in Bangladesh

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2021-01-22 23:55:21 BdST

A man rides his motorbike past a parked bus of India's biotechnology company Bharat Biotech outside its office in Hyderabad, India July 3, 2020. REUTERS/Stringer

India’s Bharat Biotech has sought approval from the authorities to hold clinical trials of its coronavirus vaccine candidate COVAXIN in Bangladesh.

The company applied for the approval around two weeks ago, said Dr Syed Modasser Ali, the chairman of Bangladesh Medical Research Council.

The application for the phase three trial has been sent to the council’s Ethical Review Committee for scrutiny, he said on Friday.

The committee had asked for more details from the firm, but it was yet to send the papers, according to Modasser.

“The application is incomplete without the papers,” he added.

India on Jan 3 approved COVAXIN along with COVISHIELD, the vaccine developed by the UK’s University of Oxford and Swedish-British drugmaker AstraZeneca, for emergency use.

Bharat Biotech developed COVAXIN jointly with the Indian Council of Scientific Research.

India is also producing the Oxford vaccine, of which Bangladesh has ordered 30 million doses.

Besides Bharat Biotech, China’s Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceuticals has applied for clinical trials of its vaccine in Bangladesh. The health ministry forwarded the application to the Directorate General of Health Services in the first week of January.