BHUBANESWAR: The Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital has been chosen by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) for undertaking human clinical trials of India’s first COVID-19 vaccine.
ICMR has partnered with Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) to fast track clinical trials of the indigenous COVID-19 vaccine - BBV152, which has been derived from a strain of SARS-CoV- 2 isolated by the National Institute of Virology, Pune. Phase-I and Phase-II human trials of the vaccine have been approved by the Drug Controller General of India.
SUM Hospital is one among 13 medical institutes in the country and the only in Odisha to be chosen as a clinical trial site for the much awaited vaccine. Prof E Venkat Rao of Community Medicine department of the hospital will be the principal investigator during the trial.
A spokesperson said the trial will commence after approval of the Institutional Ethical Committee of the hospital. The institute is presently operating three stand-alone COVID-19 hospitals at Bhubaneswar, Kendrapara and Talcher where patients affected by coronavirus are being treated.
Since the final outcome will depend on the cooperation of all clinical trial sites involved in this project, the ICMR has advised to fast track all approvals related to initiation of the clinical trial and ensure that the enrollment is initiated no later than July 7. All institutes have been asked to to treat it on highest priority and meet the timelines without any lapse.