Pakistan has begun phase-III trial of vaccine produced by CanSinoBio and Beijing Institute of Biotechnology China.
According to Dawn, recombinant Novel Coronavirus Vaccine Adenovirus Type 5 vector () has been developed by China will be administered over 2000 volunteers in Pakistan’s Karachi city.
“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 statement said.
It added: “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. The study will be conducted in prestigious medical research centres in the country — Aga Khan Medical University, Karachi; Indus Hospital, Karachi; Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital, Lahore; Shifa International Hospital, Islamabad, and UHS Lahore.”
The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) gave a nod to holding clinical trial of Covid-19 vaccine in the country.
According to a document, signed by Drap Clinical Studies Committee secretary Shafqat Hussain Danish, and available with Dawn, the committee recommended that the trial be held in Indus Hospital, Karachi.
This test will be carried out by the International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences, Karachi, in collaboration with a Chinese company already conducting trials in China.
A Drap official, not authorised to speak on record, said it was a major development as, in case of a successful trial, the vaccine would become available to people.
“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 said.
“It is one of the potential vaccines which can become successful,” he added.
The phase-III clinical trial is designed to evaluate whether an investigational vaccine can prevent symptomatic Covid-19 among adults.
“An amount of Rs50,000 will be paid to each volunteer. After completion of the trial, we will move to other cities of the country,” he added.