New Delhi, June 29: COVAXIN became the first coronavirus vaccine candidate in India to be granted approval by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI). In a statement issued on Monday, the apex drug regulator confirmed that it is has given the go ahead for clinical trials of the experimental vaccine next month. COVID-19 Vaccine: Daiichi Sankyo in Talks With UK's AstraZeneca for Supply of Doses to Japan.

COVAXIN is being developed by leading drug research firm Bharat Biotech, in coordination with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune.

The research on the experimental vaccine began after the NIV isolated the threat of SARS-CoV-19 and sent its weakened form to Bharat Biotech for development of the vaccine.

The human trials that will begin next month is expected to involve several healthy individuals from across the nation - in varying age groups - to ascertain whether the vaccine candidate can induce an immune response against the COVID-19 infection.

If successful, the third stage of clinical trials would be initiated later this year involving thousands of humans to ascertain its complete effectiveness. The drug regulator's approval for vaccine roll-out would also depend on the side-effects that the vaccine may leave behind on those undergoing the trials.

While COVAXIN is India's first candidate, nearly a dozen have emerged across the world - being developed by leading pharmaceutical giants. Among the most promising are considered to the vaccines being developed by UK's AstraZeneca and the United States' Moderna Therapeutics.

While most developers are eyeing a vaccine roll-out by end of 2020, AstraZeneca has begun the mass production of doses and will succeed in becoming the world's first vaccine provider if it clears the safety decks in August.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 29, 2020 10:56 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website