The government has given the local company Globe Biotech Limited, which has been developing a COVID-19 vaccine, permission to produce its vaccine for clinical trial.

Head of research and development at Globe Biotech, Asif Mahmud confirmed the matter to Prothom Alo on Wednesday. He said, they named the vaccine ‘Bangavax’.

An approval of the Directorate General of Drug Administration is required to manufacture any medicine. The drug administration gave Globe Biotech the permission.

After producing the vaccine, Globe Biotech will seek approval to run a clinical trial, Asif Mahmud said.

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Globe Biotech, a concern of drug manufacture Globe Pharmaceuticals Group of Companies, claimed to have developed a COVID-19 vaccine on 2 July last year. It was the first time any Bangladeshi company claimed the success. Globe began developing the vaccine in March last year.

Three coronavirus vaccines developed by Globe Biotech obtained a place on the global list of the World Health Organization. Three of the total 156 vaccines that have been listed for experimental use by the WHO are from the Globe Biotech. On 18 October last year, Asif Mahmood told Prothom Alo that they have successfully tested the vaccine on animals and were preparing for the clinical trial.

At that time, Globe Biotech authorities said they had invented three vaccines. These are D614 variant mRNA, DNA plasmid and adenovirus type-5 vector.

The approval for Globe Biotech on Wednesday came amid the much discussion over Bangladesh’s access to COVID-19 vaccine.

Serum Institute of India is manufacturing the vaccine developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca. Bangladesh government will purchase the vaccine from Serum and Beximco Pharmaceuticals will supply it. Health ministry, Serum and Beximco singed a tripartite agreement on it.

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