Three Covid-19 vaccine candidates developed by the lone Bangladeshi vaccine company -- Globe Biotech Ltd -- have been enlisted in the draft landscape of the World Health Organization (WHO).
With this, Globe Biotech Ltd has entered the global race for a Covid-19 vaccine as a first-ever Bangladeshi company.
This enlistment, however, does not mean these vaccines are effective or guarantee those will be successful, experts said.
"This is a good progress, but this does not mean these vaccines are successful. There is a long way to go," Prof Sayedur Rahman, chairman of pharmacology at BSMMU, told The Daily Star recently.
On October 5, Kakan Nag, CEO of the Globe Biotech ltd, alleged that WHO is "delaying the enlistment unnecessarily".
On the same day, Bardan Jung Rana, country representative of WHO, told The Daily Star, "Coming in the landscape doesn't mean anything; it doesn't mean Ok... There are lot of things [after that]."
He also said there was no delay but the headquarter had been reviewing the documents.
On October 5, Globe Biotech announced that its first vaccine candidate, which is developed based on D614G variant mRNA vaccine, had passed the pre-clinical trial on mice and was ready for clinical trial.
They have not disclosed anything about two other vaccine candidates -- DNA plasmid vaccine and the Adenovirus Type-5 vector vaccine -- on that day.
In a press release today, Globe Biotech Ltd claimed that the company is the only organisation which has three Covid-19 vaccine candidates in the WHO draft landscape.
All three have been enlisted as pre-clinical stage vaccine candidates.
Meanwhile, Globe Biotech Ltd has signed an MoU with the icddr,b which will conduct all three phases of clinical trials, Dr Mohammad Mohiuddin, manager (Quality & regulatory operations) of Globe Biotech Ltd, confirmed to The Daily Star.
"The icddr,b is now preparing the trial protocol. Once completed, it will apply to the BMRC (Bangladesh Medical and Research Council) for the trial approval," Dr Mohiuddin told The Daily Star.
According to the US Centre for Disease Control, the general stages of the development cycle of a vaccine are: exploratory stage, pre-clinical stage, clinical development, regulatory review and approval, manufacturing and quality control.
The final stage trial or Phase-III clinical trial means the vaccine is at its final stage in which the vaccine is given to thousands of people and tested for efficacy and safety.
"Globally, many vaccines have been failing even at the final stage of trials. And BANCOVID has just passed the first stage. It does not authenticate the vaccine is effective. We could be sure about the efficacy after the mass scale human trial," Muniruddin Ahmed, a professor of pharmacy at Dhaka University told The Daily Star recently.