India may soon get a fifth COVID-19 vaccine as Hyderabad-based Biological E looks to apply for emergency usage authorisation for its COVID-19 vaccine by the end of August. According to reports, the Corbevax jab is expected to be launched by September end. The company is conducting third phase trials for 'at-risk manufacturing' of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Last month, the Union Health Ministry announced that it had finalised arrangements with BE to reserve 300 million doses of Corbevax to be manufactured later this year. The Centre had booked the jabs before preclinical stage phase 3 studies. The government had also provided financial assistance to the domestic vaccine manufacturer.
While Corbevax is indigenously developed, the recombinant protein sub-unit vaccine has its roots in research undertaken by the the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. American company Dynavax Technologies is also a part of the collaboration and earlier this month, BioE had announced announced the execution of a commercial supply agreement of Dynavax’s CpG 1018TM advanced adjuvant.
Simply put, Corbevax is made up of the SARS-CoV-2 on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. While this technology has been used to make other vaccines including that for Hepatitis B, Corbevax will be one of the first COVID-19 jabs to utilise the methodology.
Corbevax will be a two dose vaccine, and according to reports that quote its manufacturing costs, the vaccine is likely to be made available at a comparatively lower price point. During trials, the doses were administered 28 days apart. However it is not yet clear whether this gap will be maintained when the vaccine becomes available to the public.