Developed Covaxin for a cause, not to make money: Krishna Ella

Bharat Biotech chairman and managing director Krishna Ella on Wednesday said the company took up development of Covaxin as a cause and not to make money.

“As a company, we took it as a cause, not to make money but to help the country and save people’s lives,” he said in a video message that was shared by the company with a statement on an interim Phase 3 trial results of Covaxin that showed 81% efficacy.

Tracing the phases in development of the indigenous vaccine, he said Bharat Biotech partnered the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in March-April and on May 1 got the strain from National Institute of Virology, Pune. “Since then our journey on Covaxin development started,” he said, while citing challenges that accompanied the lockdown, including non availability of reagents. The company overcame them and the employees worked day and night at the BSL 3 containment facility in Hyderabad to make it happen.

Thanking those involved in the development as well as the volunteers, Mr.Ella said many aged above 60 years participated in the clinical trials, including a man and woman aged 93 and 91 in Aligarh. The 25 trial centres were well distributed across the country to ensure the population is represented properly. There were four sites in central zone, two in eastern, five in northern and seven each in southern and western zones.

The interim data has been submitted to Drugs Safety Monitoring Board and a detailed analysis will be presented to the Subject Expert Committees of the CDSCO, he said. To criticism the company faced that “our data is not transparent and not in public domain,” he said “I am proud to say that we have 6 publications. If people have got the patience they should read those articles.”

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