The company has already begun churning out doses of the vaccine as part of plans to create a stockpile ahead of an emergency use approval (EUA), sources said. However, the actual quantum of doses that have been manufactured so far could not be ascertained.
Corbevax, which is slated to be the most affordable vaccine to hit the market with an estimated production cost of around $1.5 per dose, is expected to be available for use in the country by August. Biological E is looking at hitting a capacity of 75-80 million doses per month for this vaccine candidate from August this year.
“It’s a significant capacity and we have already scaled up. We have confidence in our manufacturing capabilities to be able to deliver that number from August onwards,” Biological E managing director Mahima Datla had told TOI earlier.
At present, only three vaccines have got EUA in the country – Bharat Biotech and ICMR-NIV’s Covaxin, AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine being made by Serum Institute of India (SII) under the Covishield brand and Russian vaccine Sputnik V. The vaccine candidate is currently undergoing phase-III trials on 1,268 healthy volunteers in the 18-80 years age group at 15 centres across the country as part of a larger global Phase III study to evaluate the immunogenicity and safety of the vaccine against Covid-19.
Apart from the two-dose Corbevax, Biological E has just joined hands with Providence Therapeutics Holdings Inc of Canada for licencing the latter’s mRNA vaccine candidate PTX-COVID-19-B for the Indian market as well as some other markets. The Hyderabad-based vaccine maker will be manufacturing up to 1 billion doses per annum of the mRNA vaccine in 2022.