India / Hope to launch Novavax's vaccine by June 2021: Adar Poonawalla

Vikrant Shekhawat : Jan 30, 2021, 06:35 PM
Pune: A day after the Serum Institute of India applied to the Indian authorities to conduct a small domestic trial of Novavax's coronavirus vaccine, SII chief Adar Poonawalla on Saturday said that the firm is hopeful of launching the Covid-19 vaccine by June this year, under the local brand Covovax.

Poonawalla has said that SII's partnership with Novavax, a vaccine undergoing trials for effectiveness against the novel coronavirus, has published 'excellent efficacy results'.

Taking to Twitter, Poonawalla wrote, "Our partnership for a Covid-19 vaccine with @Novavax has also published excellent efficacy results. We have also applied to start trials in India. Hope to launch #COVOVAX by June 2021!"

Developed in partnership with American vaccine developer Novavax, the world's biggest vaccine maker Serum Institute's CEO had earlier said, "We have already applied to the drug controller's office for the bridging trial a few days ago."

"So they should also give that approval soon now," Poonawalla had said.

Novavax's coronavirus vaccine was found to be 89.3% effective in a UK trial and was nearly as effective in protecting against the more highly contagious variant first discovered in Britain.

A joint note from the Indian Council of Medical Research and SII had earlier stated that the ICMR and Serum Institute had collaborated for the clinical development of Covovax, developed by American company Novavax and upscaled by SII, a major player in the fight against coronavirus.

Apart from Covovax, four more Covid-19 vaccines are in pipeline for India.

All you need to know about Novavax Covid vaccine

1) Novavax is stockpiling vaccines at around six operating manufacturing sites and said it expects a total of eight plants in seven countries to produce at the rate of 2 billion doses every year, including from the SII.

2) A mid-stage trial of the Novavax vaccine in South Africa, where a troubling new strain of Covid-19 is common, showed 60% effectiveness among people who did not have HIV.

3) Novavax has said that it started making new versions of its Covid-19 vaccine to protect against emerging virus variants in early January and expects to select ideal candidates for a booster in the coming days.

4) Last year in September, Novavax had announced its deal with the world's largest vaccine manufacturing firm SII in order to produce 2 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines.

5) Novavax has also received around $388 million in backing from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI), a Norway-based group backed by 14 governments, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Britain’s Wellcome Trust.