Biological E likely to launch its Covid-19 vaccine by September-end: Report
Hyderabad-based Biological E Limited, which is developing a made-in-India vaccine against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), is expected to launch the vaccine, Corbevax, by September-end, news agency ANI reported on Monday quoting sources.
The vaccine, which is currently undergoing phase 3 clinical trials, is based on the RBD protein sub-unit platform. Biological E is expected to apply for its emergency use authorisation (EUA) by the end of next month and will provide 300 million doses of to the Union government by December 2021, as announced by the Union ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) in June. "The Union ministry of health would be making an advance payment of ₹1500 crore to Biological E," a statement by the ministry had said.
Though the efficacy of Corbevax is not yet known, Dr NK Arora, who heads the Centre's Covid-19 working group, said last month that its efficacy is likely to be similar as that of NVX-CoV2373, developed by American firm Novavax, as the two vaccines have a common platform. According to Novavax, its vaccine has demonstrated 100% protection from moderate and severe Covid-19, with an overall efficacy of 90.4%. Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) is manufacturing this jab as Covovax in India.
Till now, four vaccines have been approved for the nationwide inoculation drive against Covid-19. Two of these were approved in January and have been used since the vaccination drive began on 16th of that month. These are Covaxin and Covishield. The former, which is India's first home-made shot against Covid-19, has been developed by another Hyderabad-based firm, Bharat Biotech, while the latter is a shot developed jointly by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, and is being manufactured locally by SII.
A third vaccine, Russia's Sputnik V, was cleared in April at a time when the second Covid-19 wave was beginning to reach its peak, while the fourth, US-based Moderna's vaccine, was approved in June. On July 1, Ahmedabad-based Zydus Cadila applied to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) seeking EUA for its indigenously developed vaccine for citizens above the age of 12.