Aurobindo Pharma to make COVAXX vaccine for India and UNICEF

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Jan 17, 2021, 03:36 PM(IST)

Representative image Photograph:( Reuters )

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Shares of Aurobindo Pharma rose as much as 2.3% and were trading up 1.4% as of 0403 GMT in an upbeat Mumbai market

Aurobindo Pharma Ltd said on Thursday that it will make COVAXX's COVID-19 vaccine candidate for India and UNICEF under a licensing deal. The Hyderabad based drugmaker also has non-exclusive rights to sell the vaccine. The COVAXX vaccine is currently undergoing early-stage trials.

COVAXX is a unit of United Biomedical Inc and it plans to carry out mid and late-stage trials for the vaccine in Asia, Latin America and the US. The trials will begin from early 2021. The company said that the vaccine requires ordinary refrigeration temperature and not freezing temperatures required for certain vaccines. This bit is considered beneficial for developing countries as storage at ultra-low temperatures needs setting up of specialist cold storage chains which may prove to be a challenge in developing world.

The licensing deal comes amid increasing COVID-19 cases in India.

Shares of Aurobindo Pharma rose as much as 2.3% and were trading up 1.4% as of 0403 GMT in an upbeat Mumbai market.

Aurobindo said it could currently produce 220 million doses, but is ramping up its facilities to reach a capacity of nearly 480 million by June 2021.

Its licensing deal comes as COVID-19 infections in India continue to rise after crossing 10 million last week. It's the second worst-hit nation by the pandemic after the United States.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that the country is likely to approve Oxford/AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine for emergency use by next week.

India, the world's biggest vaccine producing country, is also considering emergency use authorization applications for vaccines made by Pfizer and local company Bharat Biotech.

(With agency inputs)

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