U.S based private Health-Sciences University ties up with Indian Pharma company for COVID-19 Vaccine
by Harsha Prakash Mazumdar
2nd September 2020
Texas based Baylor College of Medicine has recently started to look for the cure for the coronavirus infection by announcing a licensing agreement with Indian pharmaceutical company Biological E Limited (BE) for the development of a safe and effective globally accessible vaccine for COVID19.
BE, a Hyderabad-based company, has recently licensed the recombinant protein COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed at Baylor. After deliberation with regards to Baylor’s technology and how it can potentially form a vaccine for the current global pandemic, the license negotiations were started.
According to reports, Baylor has been working on a recombinant protein vaccine candidate for SARS viruses since the original outbreak in 2003 and has since modified and changed its vaccine to be effective against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19 disease.
This partnership could lead to the development of a low-cost version of the vaccine that can be scaled to more than 1 billion doses for worldwide distribution.
A report published by Texas Medical Centre explained how Baylor College of Medicine’s vaccine could be developed quickly and at huge quantities. The research team has utilised a yeast-based expression technology, common in vaccine production, that happens to be already in use by BE Limited in the manufacturing of the hepatitis- B vaccine.
It has been assured that BE is committed to thorough clinical testing to ensure the highest possible safety standards and effectiveness of the vaccine, before they start the distribution process. The company plans to begin the clinical trials in India by next month.
Maria Elena Bottazzi, Ph.D., associate dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at
Baylor and co-director of Texas Children’s Center for Vaccine Development said that the group came up with the ideas of how to create them at modest scales. Dr. Bortazzi also states that their niche is to actually make the prototype of the vaccine. “Now with these licenses, we’ve handed it over and they’ll take our product and work out the manufacturing process to take it from modest amounts to a billion doses a year, which is amazing.” said Dr. Bottazzi.
“The healthcare sector is predicted to grow steadily in India and the US. Given the complementarities, companies in both the countries have a great opportunity to build synergies including to partner together for global supply chains, joint research and manufacturing,” Consul General Of India, Mr. Aseem Mahajan told PTI at a webinar organised last week. India has now become the third leading nation in terms of COVID- 19 cases with the US leading the chart with over 6 million cases.
Sources: The Hindu, The Times of India.
Edited by Sagarika Satapathy.