SII plans to launch Covovax by June: Poonawalla

PUNE: In what could be a mega boost to the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination drive in India, the Serum Institute of India (SII) has announced its plan to launch its new vaccine, Covovax, by June this year.

SII CEO Adar Poonawalla said on Saturday that its partnership for a Covid-19 vaccine with Novavax has shown excellent efficacy results.

“We have applied for starting trials in India. Hope to launch Covocax by June 2021,” Poonawalla said in a tweet.

The new vaccine shall be launched under the brand name of Covovax, which SII is manufacturing in partnership with Novovax. The Pune-based global vaccine giant has sought permission from the DCGI to start domestic trials of the new product.

The development comes close on the heels of US-based biotechnology company Novavax announcing that its vaccine is 89.3 per cent effective in preventing Covid-19 in a trial conducted in the UK.

The study assessed the efficacy of the vaccine — NVX-CoV2373 — during a period with high transmission and with a new UK variant strain of the virus emerging and circulating widely.

“NVX-CoV2373 has the potential to play an important role in solving this global public health crisis. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners, collaborators, investigators and regulators around the world to make the vaccine available as quickly as possible,” Stanley C. Erck, President and Chief Executive Officer, Novavax, said in a statement on Friday.

Last year, Novavax had announced its tie up with SII to produce 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine.

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