19 October 2020 

The Russian Direct Investment Fund and Dr Reddy’s have been granted approval to perform phase II/III clinical trials for the Sputnik V vaccine by the Drugs Controller General of India. The trials will test the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine and are set to begin in September 2020.

China has announced plans to provide Covid-19 vaccines for emergency use to key groups affected in the cities of Jiaxin, Yiwu, Ningbo and Shaoxing. Currently, 11 Covid-19 vaccines are undergoing clinical trials and awaiting approval in China, including the BBIBP-CorV vaccine. Clinical trials for this vaccine candidate that took place between April and July 2020 triggered antibody immune responses in patients.

India’s Health Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan, has announced that the Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech will commence clinical trials on intranasal Covid-19 vaccines upon receiving necessary approvals. The Phase III clinical trials of the vaccines are expected to enrol approximately 30,000 to 40,000 people, the minister added.

PharmaMar announced that the APLICOV-PC clinical study on Aplidin (plitidepsin) in adult patients affected with Covid-19 has met its primary and secondary endpoints. The trial found considerable reduction in viral load and C-reactive protein among individuals who needed immediate hospitalisation. The company also announced that it will commence its phase III study in the months ahead.