India could be one of the stages of the next trial for a candidate novel coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University as total infections in the South Asian country exceed 1.1 million.

The Serum Institute of India said it would apply for approval from the country’s drug control body for the third phase of the vaccine, known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 or AZD1222, as the “trials have shown promising results.”

The vaccine manufacturer confirmed its partnership with Oxford and was now awaiting approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to begin human trials.

“We will be applying for the licensure trials to the Indian regulator in a week’s time. As soon as they grant us permission, we will begin with the trials for the vaccine in India,” said Adar Poonawalla, CEO of the firm.

He noted that it “will soon start manufacturing the vaccine in large volumes” as it is one of nine companies across the globe which has collaborated with the UK-based AstraZeneca biopharmaceutical company, a co-developer of the Oxford vaccine.

The findings from the latest trial of the vaccine, which involved 1,077 people, showed that injection resulted in the production of antibodies and T-cells that could fight coronavirus.

The next phase of the trial will involve more people from several countries with large numbers of COVID-19 patients, including India, the US and Brazil.

The total number of confirmed cases in India surpassed 1,155,000 on Tuesday, with 37,412 daily cases. With a population of around 1.3 billion, the country reported 587 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing total fatalities to 28,084, according to Health Ministry data.

This is not the only vaccine that reached the third phase of human trials. Vaccine candidates developed separately by US and Chinese companies have also shown promising results.

Results of the Oxford vaccine trials come at a time when India already began human trials of its indigenous COVAXIN.

Meanwhile in neighboring Bangladesh, the government approved an application from a top medical research body in the country allowing them to conduct the phase-three clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac.

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