The risk that Adar Poonawalla, CEO and owner of Serum Institute of India (SII), took on the coronavirus vaccine, by investing heavily in it much before it had completed its clinical trials, seems to be paying off well, as early trials are showing positive results. Pune-based SII is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by volume of doses.
On 20th July, 2020, the medical journal – ‘The Lancet’, shared that the Oxford vaccine (clinical term: ‘ChAdOx1 nCoV-19’), was safe and induced an immune reaction to fight Covid-19 after it had completed its Phase I and Phase II clinical trials, saying, “ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 showed an acceptable safety profile, and homologous boosting increased antibody responses.”
The dynamic Adar Poonawalla had taken a big chance – first by signing a deal with British pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca to manufacture and sell the vaccine in India and other developing countries; and second, by sacrificing a facility meant for producing another lucrative vaccine to manufacture the Oxford vaccine, in an attempt to stockpile the vaccine by the end of the year.
As per media reports, Adar Poonawalla said, “The trials have shown promising results and we are extremely happy about it. We will be applying for the licensure trials to the Indian regulator in a week. As soon as they grant us permission, we will begin with the trials for the vaccine in India. In addition, we will soon start manufacturing the vaccine in large volumes.”
Here’s hoping that the pride of our community, the Poonawallas, prove themselves foremost, yet again, in serving and protecting lives worldwide against the rampage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.