It was said long ago that even though the vaccine for Coronavirus may come from any part of the world, India with its strong pharma industry base would have to step in for mass production. Now, Russia has placed a request with India for mass production of its Sputnik V vaccine and phase 3 trial. India has confirmed that there has been progress in this regard.
Russia has requested India's help in
i) manufacturing of vaccine by Indian companies
ii) conduct of Phase-III studies in India
India attaches high importance to the request from a special friend
On both fronts, there has been considerable progress
— PIB in Maharashtra ?? (@PIBMumbai) September 8, 2020
What Does This Development Indicate?
The significance of this development can be gauged from three points.
- As mentioned earlier, India has a significant role in ensuring production at scale of vaccines, irrespective of which country tastes success in developing the vaccine.
- India proudly wears the badge of global trust. The speed with which Russia announced the success of the vaccine made many in the world sceptical about the Sputnik V vaccine. However, if India conducts phase three trial of the same vaccine, it is highly likely that the world will acknowledge its utility, considering the democratic and administrative credibility of India.
- If all goes well, it is also likely that Indian population will get the vaccine much earlier than expected because of this partnership.
The Trust That India Gained
Apart from the production of a vaccine at mass scale, India may also help Russia with an invaluable currency called global trust, if at all the phase three trials show satisfactory outcome. One needs to consider the reaction of the global community when Russia announced the successful trial of Sputnik vaccine. The reception was shrouded in scepticism.
As this report notes, scientists overwhelmingly opined that the phase three trial is crucial for vaccine development. Perhaps, the phase three trials in India may bring much needed credibility for Russia’s Sputnik vaccine.
According to a report, an official said this about the phase three trial in India.
“The Russians have done Phase 1 and 2, (the results) were published in the Lancet last week; if need be, Phase 3 studies, or any bridging studies, be conducted in India. Which means regulatory processes and finding a suitable partner for conducting the trial. This is the second part of the request.”
“On the regulatory front, the Indian scientists have looked at the data. Yes, there will be a need for Phase 3 trials in the normal course of things, and, if that is required, we are paving the way so that such Phase 3 trials or bridging study, as per science and the Indian regulatory system, will be facilitated by the Indian government.”