COVID-19: Indian Drugmaker Biological E Signs Deal With J&J, Houston College For Vaccine Production

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COVID-19: Indian Drugmaker Biological E Signs Deal With J&J, Houston College For Vaccine Production

It is the second pharmaceutical company in India to announce the agreements on developing the vaccines after Pune-based Serum Institute Of India that entered into similar agreements with AstraZeneca, which is developing a vaccine with Oxford University.

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Hyderabad-based Biological E has signed two agreements for the development of novel Coronavirus vaccines, one with Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, which is a part of drug giant Johnson & Johnson, and with Houston-based Baylor College of Medicine.

It is the second pharmaceutical company in India to announce the agreements on developing the vaccines after Pune-based Serum Institute Of India that entered into similar agreements with AstraZeneca, which is developing a vaccine with Oxford University.

As a part of the deal, J&J will be transferring technology for manufacturing its vaccine. Biological E will begin production of the drug substance used in Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine candidate that is in early to mid-stage trials, Reuters reported.

The drug giant aims to develop more than a billion doses of its vaccine candidate ' Ad26.COV2-S'. Currently, it is in combined Phase 1 and 2 of human trials and expects to enter Phase 3 by the month of September in view of making the vaccine available by next year.

In the second agreement the Hyd- based company has licensed the vaccine produced by the college, which is presently in its pre-clinical trials. According to the agreement, Biological E will manufacture the vaccine, and will collaborate on its further development, The Indian Express reported.

"The production of the vaccine at Biological E could facilitate its deployment in India and other middle and low-income countries," the company's statement as quoted.

Other Indian companies developing or manufacturing potential COVID-19 vaccines include the Serum Institute, Wockhardt Ltd, Cadila Healthcare Ltd and Panacea Biotec Ltd.

On Thursday, India reported a record daily jump of 67,000 coronavirus infections, taking its total to nearly 2.4 million, having the third-largest number of cases after the United States and Brazil.

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