BANGAVAX enters clinical trial phase

Prof Shwapnil chief investigator

BANGAVAX, which is the second after India as a Covid-19 vaccine candidate from the developing country, has started the process to begin the clinical trial soon.

The Clinical Research Organisation Ltd sought approval of the Bangladesh Medical Research Council (BMRC) on Sunday for the human trials of the potential vaccine developed by Globe Biotech.

It will conduct the first and second phases of the trial as a third party with Prof Mamun Al Mahtab Shwapnil of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University as the chief investigator.

 The research organisation also submitted a protocol of the clinical trial which will be conducted by a team of 57 researchers.

 Prof Shwapnil said they would be able to start the trial within 10 days of getting all the permission.

 “We plan to deploy more than a hundred volunteers for the trial,” he said.

 The three co-investigators of the team are Prof Sheikh Mohammad Fazle Akbar from Japan, director of the IEDCR Prof Tahmina Shirin and Prof Sitesh Chandra Bachar.

 The location of the trials would be Farabi General Hospital in the capital's Dhanmondi.

 Results of the Globe vaccine's animal trials were published on the Bio-Archive on 29 September last year.

 Later, the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) announced that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Globe Biotech to begin the phase 1 human trial.

 Globe Biotech, on 1 December, cancelled its agreement with icddr,b, alleging that the latter had shown little interest in conducting the trial.

 The vaccine was initially called Bancovid, but was later renamed BANGAVAX in December showing respect to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

 The experimental vaccine features in the World Health Organisation’s list of the draft landscape of candidate vaccines.

Bharat Biotech's Covid-19 vaccine is the first such candidate from the developing world.