Pakistan to conduct phase-III scientific trial of COVID-19 vaccine


Islamabad, August 18

The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has given a nod for phase-III scientific trial of a COVID-19 vaccine developed in collaboration with a Chinese firm, a media report mentioned on Tuesday.

According to an announcement from the National Institute of Health (NIH), it has obtained “formal approval” from the DRAP for phase-III Clinical Trial of Recombinant Novel Coronavirus Vaccine Adenovirus Type 5 vector (Ad5-nCoV) developed by CanSinoBio and Beijing Institute of Biotechnology China (BIB)”.

The NIH mentioned this might be the first-ever phase-III scientific trial for any vaccine in Pakistan.

“It is a multi-country multi-centre clinical trial which CanSinoBio is already conducting in China, Russia, Chile, Argentina and will shortly start in Saudi Arabia. The principal investigator of the multi-centre clinical trial in Pakistan is NIH executive director Maj Gen Aamer Ikram,” the assertion mentioned.

“AJM Pharma CEO Adnan Hussain signed an agreement with the NIH last month for collaborating on the phase-III clinical trial of CanSinoBIO Ad5-nCoV in Pakistan,” it mentioned.

According to a doc signed by DRAP Clinical Studies Committee secretary Shafqat Hussain Danish, the committee beneficial that the trial be held in Indus Hospital in Karachi.

The Dawn newspaper reported that after seeing the doc the take a look at can be carried out by the International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences, Karachi, in collaboration with a Chinese firm already conducting trials in China.

As many as 200 volunteers from Karachi, representing numerous ethnic teams, have been registered. The trial can be accomplished in 56 days throughout which three injections of inactivated virus can be administered to the volunteers — each female and male.

The doc mentioned the National Data Safety Monitoring Committee will intently monitor the protection of the sufferers and submit experiences on a month-to-month foundation.

A DRAP official, not authorised to talk on file, mentioned it was a significant improvement as, in case of a profitable trial, the vaccine would change into accessible to folks.

“Though vaccines are being prepared in different countries, we cannot surely say whether we will get them as there will be high demand for the vaccines across the globe. If this trial is successful, the vaccine will be easily available to us at affordable rates,” the official mentioned.

Pakistan’s coronavirus circumstances reached 289,832 on Tuesday after 617 new infections had been recognized within the final 24 hours. Fifteen extra folks died throughout this era, taking the variety of COVID-19 deaths to six,190 throughout the nation, the well being ministry mentioned on Tuesday.

Minister for Planning Asad Umar, who additionally heads the National Coordination and Operation Centre on COVID-19, mentioned he was hopeful that the trials on the vaccine would achieve success.

“It is one of the potential vaccines which can become successful,” he mentioned.

Pakistan was unable to take part within the phase-III trials held in numerous nations. However, a chance had lastly been created whereby volunteers might take part within the trials throughout the nation, Umar mentioned.

The phase-III scientific trial is designed to guage whether or not an investigational vaccine can stop symptomatic COVID-19 amongst adults.

On March 24, Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry had constituted a committee — Scientific Task Force on COVID-19 — headed by scientist Professor Dr Attaur Rehman.

One of the committee members, who requested to not be named, mentioned: “The trial will commence from next week which will be participated by 200 volunteers, all over 18 years of age”.

“We have selected volunteers from various ethnic groups to analyse their results. I believe Karachi is the most appropriate city as people from all backgrounds are settled there. An amount of Rs 50,000 will be paid to each volunteer. After completion of the trial, we will move to other cities of the country,” he mentioned.

When requested in regards to the negative effects of the vaccine, the committee member mentioned although its security profile was superb, each medication had facet impact in a single per cent circumstances with gentle fever, tiredness, headache or allergy.

“These are mild symptoms and people should know that even the committee members are willing to volunteer themselves for the trial. We are taking part in global efforts against COVID-19. Moreover, as we are passing through the ‘fifth generation warfare’ phase, the trial will build a positive image of Pakistan,” he mentioned. — PTI



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