Russia may start a coronavirus vaccine trial in Phase III by mid-August

A Russian institute developing one of the possible coronavirus vaccines in the country hopes to begin their final stage testing in a small segment of the general public in mid-August, the RIA news agency quoted the director of the institute as saying Monday. Globally, of 19 potential COVID-19 vaccines in clinical trials, only two are in final Phase III trials-one by Sinopharm in China and one by AstraZeneca and Oxford University. Sinovac Biotech of China is expected to become third later this month.

According to a separate RIA study on Sunday, early findings from the first small-scale human trial of the vaccine developed by Gamaleya Institute in Moscow have shown it to be safe for use. “I hope the limited amount of vaccine that we will be able to manufacture would reach public circulation about 14-15 August,” Alexander Ginsburg, director of the institute, was quoted as saying.

Phase I and Phase II studies usually test a drug ‘s safety before it enters Phase III studies which test its effectiveness on a larger group of volunteers. Human trials of the vaccine from the Gamaleya Institute began on June 18, with nine participants receiving one dose, and another nine evaluating the prospective booster dose. The community had no major side effects, and is expected to be released from the hospital on Wednesday, RIA announced on Sunday, quoting a director at Moscow’s Sechenov University where the trial was conducted.