Visakhapatnam: The Visakhapatnam Covid Clinical Research Center (VCCRC) will be ready to facilitate clinical trials by licensed pharma companies from July.
It is the only center in the two Telugu states, and one among 19 locations in the country, identified by the biotechnology department of the Union ministry of science and technology.
The Centre took up this project as part of the Mission Covid Suraksha (MCS) to indigenously develop and manufacture safe, efficacious, accessible and affordable Covid vaccines to meet the country’s requirements in future. Around 26 crore people have been vaccinated in the country till date.
Andhra Medical College (AMC) here was entrusted with the task of creating infrastructure and manpower required for the VCCRC. The Centre allocated Rs 1.7 crore as a booster fund to set up the centre. Accordingly, the AMC allotted 2,000 square yards of its land at Simhachalam for VCCRC.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, AMC principal Dr P.V. Sudhakar said “We received Rs 70 lakh out of Rs 1.7 crore so far from the Centre for this project. We have almost got the center ready and are expecting clinical trials by vaccine manufacturing companies from July. The AMC handled clinical trials for Covishield vaccine in the first wave.”
Dr Sudhakar further said that the biotechnology department would take care of the identification of licensed vaccine manufacturing companies and allot for their use different research centers in the country, including VCCRC. “Our role is to identify suitable local volunteers for vaccine trials. We identified nearly 60 volunteers for Covishield last time,” he said.
He further informed that, “We got an offer for the trials of Covaxin and other imported vaccine companies, but rejected their offer due to lack of infrastructure facility here during the first wave. Now, we are ready with the sophisticated VCCRC, which was designed and created with advanced facilities and devices imported from countries like Germany.”
VCCRC would be used for clinical research of any disease in future also, apart from the Covid, but the prime focus now would be on the Coronavirus, its new variants, vaccines and medicines.