COVID-19 vaccine: After Oxford, will Pfizer make an agreement with India for vaccines?

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August 28, 2020 12:03 PM

With two indigenous vaccine already in the work and an agreement for development of Oxford’s candidate, India is now eyeing to get the global pharma giant Pfizer on board for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate manufacturing in the country.

Phase 1 study being conducted in Queensland is progressing well.Pfizer will be seeking a regulatory review by October this year.

Coronavirus vaccine in India: With two indigenous vaccine already in the work and an agreement for development of Oxford’s candidate, India is now eyeing to get the global pharma giant Pfizer on board for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate manufacturing in the country. According to a report by The Indian Express, the government has held an initial meeting with Pfizer after the company released data of its first phase clinical trials of Coronavirus vaccine candidate. Citing some government sources, the report said that the pharma company will be seeking a regulatory review by October this year.

It is to note that Pfizer has recognised five facilities across countries that include the US and Germany to manufacture vaccines for the viral infection. In India, the company does not have any such agreement as of now but there is a possibility that the talks with the government, the company might agree. The report highlighted that the government will see how the talks evolve. It said that the company is also looking around actively and there is a possibility of a “fill and finish” option which means that the manufacturer will use a third party in order to fill vials with the vaccine as well as for the complete packaging process.

BNT162b2, the Pfizer vaccine candidate has reached phase 3 of human clinical trials in the US. The company plans to manufacture up to 100 million doses of the vaccine by the end of this year and it is likely to roll out 1.2 billion doses by 2021 end. So far, it has come in agreements with the US, UK, Canada and Japan for COVID-19 vaccine supply.

Meanwhile in India, there are two domestic companies- Bharat Biotech and Zydus Cadila that have developed vaccine candidates. Their vaccines are currently under phase 1-2 of clinical trials. Furthermore, the country has also signed up for the trials and development of Oxford’s Covishield. The phase 2 clinical trials for Covishield began in India this week.

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