A test tube labelled Vaccine is seen in front of COVID-19 and stock graph logo in this illustration
A test tube labelled Vaccine is seen in front of COVID-19 and stock graph logo in this illustrationReuters

Three coronavirus vaccines developed by Bangladesh's Globe Biotech Limited have obtained a place on the global list of the World Health Organization.

Asif Mahmood, head of research and development at Globe Biotech, told Prothom Alo: “We’ve successfully tested the vaccine on animals. We’re now preparing for the clinical trial.”

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Three of the total 156 vaccines that have been listed for experimental use by the WHO are from the Globe Biotech.

In a press release sent to the media on Saturday, Globe Biotech authorities said they had invented three vaccines. These are D614 variant mRNA, DNA plasmid and adenovirus type-5 vector.

The authorities also said the Globe Biotech is the only company in the world with three vaccines on the list of World Health Organization.

Meanwhile last week, the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) signed a memorandum of understanding with the Globe to work together.

A top official of the icddr,b told Prothom Alo that there is scope to test the Globe vaccine under the MoU.

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Globe Biotech official Asif Mahmood told Prothom Alo that icddr,b will act as the Contract Research Organisation (CRO) for the vaccine tests. Subsequently, icddrb will prepare research protocol and submit it to Bangladesh Medical Research Organisation (BMRC).

If, he added, the BMRC gives policy approval, there will be no obstacle in the experimental tests of the vaccine. But, it cannot be said right now when or how many people will be tested for the vaccine.

Abdul Mannan, secretary of the health ministry's services department, said there is a possibility of receiving 30 million vaccines developed by Oxford University by next February.

The Kishoreganj correspondent of Prothom Alo said that in an exchange of views with the people's representatives and government officials at Kishoreganj Sadar upazila auditorium yesterday, the secretary of the health department spoke about the possibility of obtaining the vaccine from the United Kingdom.

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Oxford University is leading the global vaccine innovation competition. Its final stage test was postponed as participants developed physical complications in some cases.

However, no one can say right now which vaccine will be successful and effective first. The Bangladesh government has repeatedly said that the government has contacted various countries and organisations to get the COVID-19 vaccine for the people of the country.

The clinical trials of the Chinese vaccine is uncertain. Now, icddr,b is preparing for the Globe vaccine test.

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The International Center for Diarrhea Research Bangladesh (icddr,b) was earlier preparing for the Chinese vaccine test. Last month, the Chinese company raised the issue of financial crisis due to coronavirus and offered joint financing to Bangladesh.

Relevant sources at the icddr,b said talks were ongoing with Sinovac about the vaccine trials. It cannot be said whether the tests have been postponed. In addition, two other organisations have verbally contacted the icddr,b for trial application of their vaccines in Bangladesh.

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Sinovac's vaccine is being tested in Brazil, Indonesia and Turkey. The test was to be conducted on 4,200 health workers from seven hospitals in Bangladesh. icddr,b has almost completed all the preparations in this regard.

The World Health Organization issues regular updates on coronavirus vaccine innovation. According to the latest figures from the organisation, 42 vaccines have been tested so far. It also includes the vaccine of China's Sinovac. The vaccine is in the final stage.