India approves further trials for first homegrown mRNA Covid vaccine
India has approved further clinical trials for its first homegrown mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine developed by Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Ltd, the government said on Tuesday, after the shot was found to be safe and effective in an early-stage study.
Gennova is among a few pharmaceutical firms worldwide, including Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) and Pfizer Inc (PFE.N), to use mRNA technology in its coronavirus shot. These vaccines do not use a live virus to generate an immune response but prompt the human body to make a protein that triggers one.
The company said on Tuesday it plans to start mid-stage trials of its vaccine candidate, HGCO19, in early September at about 10 to 15 sites and a late-stage trial at 22 to 27 sites in India.
Clinical trials of Gennova's vaccine candidate began in December last year and are partly funded by the biotechnology department of India's Ministry of Science and Technology.