Bharat Biotech: Vaccine development moving positively, next 1 month crucial


New Delhi, June 1 : The development of a vaccine for Covid-19 is moving in a positive direction and the next one month will be very crucial, said Krishna Mohan Ella, Chief Executive Officer at Bharat Biotech.

The company has formed a collaborative framework with the University of Wisconsin, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Thomas Jefferson University of Philadelphia to develop a vaccine for Covid-19.

Speaking to IANS, Mohan said, “The vaccine development is moving in a positive direction. The next one month is very crucial. I am a scientist and I believe in science.”

Queried on Bharat Biotech”s plans on vaccine production in the backdrop of the statement by The Serum Institute of India, which said it plans to produce 60 million doses of a potential Covid-19 vaccine by year-end, Mohan said the company is working very hard on the development of the vaccine.

He expressed satisfaction on the progress of the research connected with the vaccine development so far, but insisted that “in science, things can change”.

“If things were not moving positively, I would not be talking to you…we are at a very crucial stage, but I cannot comment on the number of doses (like The Serum Institute) etc.,” added Mohan.

According to ICMR, human trials could begin in at least six months.

Queried on the same, Mohan said, “Let us go by science. I cannot comment on the beginning of human trials. We are working very hard on the vaccine, which will benefit the people.”

He insisted that the global media is watching the vaccine development very closely, but refrained from making any comment on the specifics of the progress made so far or about any specific goal set for the next month.

India reported 8,390 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the country”s Covid-19 tally to 1,90,535 on Monday. India has emerged as the seventh worst hit country globally, leaving behind France and Germany. There are at least 93,322 active cases, while 91,819 people have been cured. The recovery rate in the country is 48.19 per cent now, while the death rate is 2.83 per cent.

Mohan had said last month that Bharat Biotech is collaborating with Thomas Jefferson for developing a vaccine for Covid-19 using an inactivated rabies vector platform.

He said that since the basic proof of the concept has been established by using it for other infectious diseases. The company is committed to global public health and will be involved in an end-to-end development of vaccine, including comprehensive clinical trials to achieve commercial licensure, he had said.

(Sumit Saxena can be contacted at [email protected])

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