Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
Globe Biotech has ended a Memorandum of Understanding with International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh or icddr,b on trials of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by the Bangladeshi drugmaker.
Md Harunur Rahsid, chairman of the pharmaceutical company, announced the decision at a programme in its headquarters in Dhaka on Tuesday, citing an “apparent lack of interest from icddr,b in running the trials”.
Globe and icddr,b had begun working on the trials by the end of August and signed the MoU on Oct 14, but there has been no progress in the process in three months, said Harunur.
“We are very much disappointed about the matter. We informed them (about ending the MoU) (Monday),” he said.
The research centre would not comment on the issue now, said its spokesman AKM Tariful Islam Khan.
Globe Biotech is the only Bangladeshi firm in the race to develop an effective and safe coronavirus vaccine, seen as the only way out of the pandemic crisis that has claimed at least 1.46 million lives and infected more than 63.29 million globally.
The number of confirmed infections in Bangladesh is over 467,000 with 6,675 deaths.
Globe’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine, BANCOVID, had recently been added to the World Health Organization’s list of draft landscape of candidate vaccines.
Nepal has offered to carry out trials of Globe’s vaccine candidate. Harunur had said earlier they had signed an MoU with a Nepalese company for the sale of 2 million doses of BANCOVID.
Globe had announced the development of the candidate in early July. In October, the company said the vaccine proved to be “effective” and “completely safe” after trials on rats.
The company will now apply for clinical trials on humans to Bangladesh Medical Research Council.