BANCOVID to hit the market in late December or early January next year if the government is fully supportive
The International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) is going to hold a human trial of BANCOVID, a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Bangladeshi firm Globe Biotech.
icddr,b will now seek permission from the Bangladesh Medical Research Council (BMRC) to conduct the trial, officials said.
On Wednesday, icddr,b signed a memorandum of understanding with the company to conduct the trial.
This came at a time when Chinese company Sinovac Biotech's vaccine trial has become uncertain because of co-funding issues.
Dr Asif Mahmud, in-charge of research and development at Globe Biotech, told The Business Standard, "We have reached an agreement with our contract research organisation icddr,b for conducting the phase-1 human trial."
He said they were expecting they would get the BMRC approval soon to conduct the trial.
The protocol for the trial is yet to be developed. It will be developed by icddr,b and then submitted to the BMRC for permission.
Dr Tahmeed Ahmed, acting executive director of icddr,b, said at the MOU signing programme, "We will look at the clinical trial protocols, review them, and then apply for approval."
On 2 July, Globe Biotech announced they were developing a Covid-19 vaccine as they had completed preliminary animal trials successfully.
On October 5, they said they had received "very promising" results from the pre-clinical trials on rabbits and mice.
The company said BANCOVID would hit the market in late December or early January next year if the government was fully supportive.
On Tuesday, Health Minister Zahid Maleque told Reuters Bangladesh would not co-fund Sinovac's clinical trial.
This led to uncertainty over whether the trial would be held.
icddr,b, which was to conduct the Sinovac trial, could not say either whether the Chinese firm would hold the trial.
Maleque said Sinovac was still free to conduct the trial in Bangladesh with its own funds.
"We cannot co-fund the trial with a private company. It has to be a government-to-government deal if we go for co-funding," he added.