Bangladesh has only thought about using technology of others. For the first time in the 200-year history of vaccination, Bangladeshi scientists are inventing vaccines sitting on the soil of the country. It is a matter of great pride.
One million doses of vaccine can be produced per month, said Globe Biotech COO. Nazneen Sultana. “Our vaccine technology is very modern,” he said. Like Modern, our vaccine will remain unchanged at minus 20 degrees Celsius for up to six months. Can be kept at 2-6 degrees Celsius for up to a month.
A memorandum of understanding for clinical trials was signed between Globe Biotech and ICDDRB on October 14 last year. Globe withdrew from the contract on November 30 for various reasons. On December 1, the Secretary of the Ministry of Health visited Globe Biotech. A technical committee was then formed. On December 26, the Department of Drug Administration approved the production of the vaccine for clinical trials.
Globe then began preparations for the trial again in partnership with the Department of Drug Administration, IEDCR and Contact Research Organization Bangladesh. The name of the vaccine is Bangavax from Bancovid. The plan or protocol for the clinical trial has been submitted to the Bangladesh Medical Research Council (BMRC) for ethical approval on January 18.
The study found that antibodies were produced in the bodies of each of the 18 rats that received the vaccine. In the next step, the scientists wanted to see if the rats became infected after being vaccinated. Coronavirus cannot enter rat cells by itself, so special environments were created that are conducive to infection. For this, 16 rats were divided into six equal groups. One group was given a placebo and the other five groups were given a medium dose of the vaccine.
The virus is introduced after 10 days. 48 and 72 hours later, real-time PCR was performed on lung samples from rats. It can be seen that every rat that has not been vaccinated has a virus in its lung cells. And in vaccinated rats, the levels of the virus are relatively low or completely absent. In addition, 15 more rats were used in other experiments.
“We are using raw materials imported from the US, the UK, and some other Western countries. State-of-the-art technologies will be used in this process. There are many taxes and other regulatory issues which are directly involved with costs,” he said.
Bangladeshi public health experts welcomed the development as a positive boost to the country’s COVID-19 response.
Prof. Muzaherul Huq, former WHO adviser and founder of the Public Health Foundation of Bangladesh, told Business Mirror: “Definitely the homegrown vaccine will help us a lot. Bangladesh has been producing vaccines for many years. But now we need to increase the capacity to make quality vaccines and here the government has to play a vital role.
“Globe Biotech should maintain close contact with WHO authorities to ensure constant monitoring and supervision which will also help them in the market approval process,” he said.
Prof. Benazir Ahmed, former director of disease control at the Bangladeshi Directorate General of Health Services, also called on the producer to make sure its clinical trials were monitored by international vaccinology experts and organizations in order for the vaccine to gain trust at home and abroad.
Bangladesh has so far approved for emergency use only the Covishield vaccine developed by the Serum Institute of India (SII) in collaboration with the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca.
Dhaka has ordered 30 million Covishield doses, of which the first batch of 5 million is expected to arrive from India next month.