Two more pharmaceutical companies, one Chinese and one Indian, expressed intention to conduct the third phase trial of their Covid vaccines in Bangladesh.
Chinese state-owned pharmaceutical company - Institute of Medical Biology and Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences - and Indian state-owned Bharat Biotech want to carry out the third phase trial of two inactivated type of vaccines.
Inactivated vaccines are composed of dead or inactivated virus or bacteria, and therefore differ from live but attenuated vaccines.
Chinese company IMBCAMS will conduct the trial in four countries, including Bangladesh. It will carry out the clinical trial on 8,000 people here to determine the efficacy of 34,020 doses of SARS-COV-2 vaccine.
Chinese IMBCAMS appointed local pharmaceutical company One Pharma as its local agent and exclusive distributor for one year in last October.
Besides, in conducting a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled phase-III clinical trial, IMBCAMS and icddr,b signed an agreement on December 20. One Pharma sent a letter to the health secretary on December 23.
The icddr,b applied to Bangladesh Medical Research Council (BMRC) to carry out the clinical trial.
IMBCAMS is now conducting the third phase trial in Brazil, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Earlier, phase-1 and phase-2 trials of the vaccine were conducted on 1,000 people in China. Then the trial was conducted on armed forces members and health-workers.
One Pharma sources said the Chinese company may hand over its technology, if the clinical trial in Bangladesh is satisfactory. This will help produce the vaccine at a cheap rate.
Besides, there is a possibility to get a huge dose of the vaccine free of cost. It will be good if BMRC approves the trial as soon as possible, they opined.
On the other hand, Bharat Biotech applied to BMRC to carry out the third phase trial of its Covaxin. It also signed an agreement with icddr,b.
When contacted, icddr,b authority declined to comment on the issue.
Chairman of BMRC National Research Ethics Committee is National Professor Dr Shahla Khatun. It consists of 21 members, including lawmakers, physicians and researchers.