The first two phases of the trials were successfully conducted in Pakistan earlier
The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) said that the phase 3 clinical trials will begin in Pakistan for a potential vaccine being developed by China’s CanSino Biologics for the novel coronavirus. NIH Executive Director Maj Gen Aamer Ikram, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan were present at the occasion. They termed the trial an “important step” towards finding the cure.
Ikram felt it was an “honor” for Pakistan to be participating in the phase 3 trial of a vaccine for the first time. “The entire world is looking towards a vaccine right now. There are seven vaccines for which trials are being conducted — three of them developed in China. This CanSino vaccine is based on recombinant technology in which an adino-vector is made deficient. The virus vector and cell culture have been procured from Canada,” he said.
Ikram added that the vaccine was initially tested on animals before moving on to human trials. “This was done in China at the start of the year. It was safe and immunogenic. Then there is a phase 1 trial which was again conducted in China and its results were good. In this phase, the safety and efficacy [of the vaccine] on the human body is looked at.”
Pakistan has potential for vaccine development
Former federal secretary for biological drugs Dr. Obaid Ali, and Dr. Rafiq Khanani, President, Pakistan Infection Control Society (PICS), said that pharmaceutical manufacturing globally was shifting to India and China/ They lamented that vaccine development hit a standstill in Pakistan over the past decade.
“Pakistan has been capable of developing vaccines. The NIH [National Institute of Health] Islamabad has all the capabilities to make a vaccine… there are also vaccine specialists and technologists in the country,” Dr. Khanani said in an interview.