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Patent Free Vaccine Corbevax set to end Covid-19’s reign

A new Covid vaccine developed in United Nations may well see the end of the virus. With Covid-19 throwing up new variants regularly the hunt for an effective, cost-effective vaccine

A new Covid vaccine developed in United Nations may well see the end of the virus. With Covid-19 throwing up new variants regularly the hunt for an effective, cost-effective vaccine candidate continues. One such candidate is Corbevax, developed by the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development at Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi and Dr. Peter Hotez.

What makes Corbevax such a promising candidate? It is free from patent restrictions as the technology was transferred by the creators to vaccine producers in India, Bangladesh, Botswana and Indonesia. It uses recombinant technology to manufacture which makes it easier to store and transport. Thirdly it has the endorsements of both Indian and the US Governments to push it through regulatory hurdles.

Good news is Corbevax has already been given the nod for emergency use in India on Decmeber 28 and Hyderabad-based Biological E Limited is all set to manufacture 100 million doses every month from February.

India’s Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), aided Corbevax’s journey through the pre-clinical stage and Phase III clinical. BIRAC is likely to advocate for early WHO approval as well.

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Biological E’s managing director, Mahima Datla believes that if WHO clearances are received, the company can scale up manufacturing to deliver the 300 million doses pledged to the Indian government, as well as an extra one billion doses globally.

Because of the patent-free arrangement, additional low- and middle-income countries can make and distribute this low-cost, reliable, and relatively simple-to-scale vaccine locally.

All these factors make Corbevax one of the most affordable vaccines available now. In the meantime, It’s being tested to see how effective it is against the widespread omicron variant.

How Effecttive Is Corbevax?

Following the completion of phase III clinical studies involving more than 3,000 patients between the ages of 18 and 80 at 33 sites across India, Biological E confirmed that the vaccine was determined to be safe, well-tolerated, and immunogenic ( developing an immune response).

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In fact reports suggest that Corbevax stimulated a better immune response in phase III tests than Covishield, an Astra-Zeneca and Oxford University vaccine that is manufactured in India and is the core of the country’s COVID-19 vaccination programme. Additionally, It also has fewer negative side effects.

The Indian government has already placed an order for 300 million CORBEVAX dosages, and BioE expects to create more than 1 billion for patients in developing nations. It must be noted that the United States and other G7 nations had agreed to give over 1.3 billion doses of COVID vaccines, but only 591 million have been delivered.

These figures indicate that if BioE is successful in producing 1.3 billion doses of CORBEVAX as anticipated, this vaccine will reach a greater number of people than the vaccines provided and distributed by the world’s wealthiest nations.

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First Published: 23rd January, 2022 12:32 IST

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