The Indian biotechnology and biopharmaceutical company Biological E has produced the country’s first locally developed Covid-19 vaccine in partnership with the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development at Baylor College of Medicine.
The Hyderabad-based company has already produced 150m doses of the vaccine, called Corbevax, and will produce 100m doses each month beginning in February. It is expected that 1bn doses will be produced by the end of 2022 – just shy of India’s nearly 1.4-billion population.
The company said: “The vaccine will be effective both in scale and affordability, providing sustainable access to low- and middle-income countries.”
The development of Corbevax, a recombinant protein sub-unit vaccine made by a process involving yeast and the coronavirus spike protein, was made possible because of a patentless formula shared by Texas Children’s Hospital scientists Drs Peter Hotez and . Maria Bottazzi.
Founded in 1953, Biological E initially produced liver medication and blood thinners. Soon after in 1962, the company launched its Vaccines and Biologics business unit, with the mission of “transitioning from treating diseases to preventing them”. This made Biological E the first Indian private business to enter the vaccine industry.
Biological E has also developed vaccines for tetanus, Japanese encephalitis and measles and rubella. Corbevax has been approved by the ministry of health and family welfare’s drugs controller general of India, the nation’s authority on drugs and vaccines licenses.
In a statement, Biological E’s managing director, Mahima Datla, said:“Over the years, we have worked to make quality vaccines and pharmaceutical products accessible to families around the world. With this as our backdrop, we resolved to develop an affordable and effective Covid-19 vaccine. It has now become a reality.”