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Panacea Biotec to collaborate with US firm Refana to develop covid-19 vaccine

Currently, there are over 130 vaccines under various stages of development, including 10 which are undergoing clinical trials. (Photo: AP/Sakchai Lalit)Premium
Currently, there are over 130 vaccines under various stages of development, including 10 which are undergoing clinical trials. (Photo: AP/Sakchai Lalit)

  • The joint venture company will undertake a clinical development and make regulatory submissions globally. After approval, Panacea Biotec and Refana will undertake sales and distribution of the vaccine in their respective territories

NEW DELHI: Panacea Biotec Ltd on Wednesday said it will collaborate with US-based Refana Inc for development, manufacturing and global distribution of a covid-19 vaccine.

Under the partnership, Panacea Biotec will be responsible for product development and commercial manufacturing of an inactivated virus-based vaccine, the Indian firm said in an exchange filing.

An inactivated vaccine consists of virus particles that have been grown in a culture and then lose disease producing capacity.

"Whole inactivated viral vaccines have a higher probability of being safe and efficacious, given their long history and better understanding of their mechanism of action, which has been elucidated over many decades. This vaccine has the potential to become the vaccine of choice for the global fight against covid-19," Rajesh Jain, managing director, Panacea Biotec, was quoted as saying in the filing.

The two firms’ joint venture company will undertake a clinical development and make regulatory submissions globally. After regulatory approval, Panacea Biotec and Refana will undertake sales and distribution of the vaccine in their respective territories.

Jain said the two firms aim to manufacture over 500 million doses of the covid-19 candidate vaccine, with over 40 million doses expected to be available for delivery early next year.

In India, Bharat Biotech is working on multiple vaccines, while Serum Institute of India, Zydus Cadila and India Immunologicals are also working on their own candidates.

Currently, there are over 130 vaccines under various stages of development, including 10 which are undergoing clinical trials, data from World Health Organization showed. Of the 10 vaccines, four are inactivated vaccines, all of which are being developed in China.

Experts have said the world would need at least five successful vaccine candidates to combat the covid-19 pandemic effectively amid logistic challenges.

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