University of Oxford-
America and India “have run an internationally recognized joint vaccine development program for more than three decades,” writes long-time Slashdot reader retroworks. And today the BBC reported the two countries are now working together on vaccines against the new coronavirus:
India is among the largest manufacturer of generic drugs and vaccines in the world. It is home to half a dozen major vaccine makers and a host of smaller ones, making doses against polio, meningitis, pneumonia, rotavirus, BCG, measles, mumps and rubella, among other diseases. Now half a dozen Indian firms are developing vaccines against the virus that causes Covid-19.
One of them is Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine maker by number of doses produced and sold globally… Now the firm has stitched up collaboration with Codagenix, an American biotech company, to develop a “live attenuated” vaccine, among the more than 80 reportedly in development all over the world… “We are planning a set of animal trials [on mice and primates] of this vaccine in April. By September, we should be able to begin human trials,” Adar Poonawalla, chief executive officer of Serum Institute of India, told me over the phone. Mr Poonawalla’s firm has also partnered to mass produce a vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford and backed by the UK government…
“It’s pretty clear the world is going to need hundreds of millions of doses, ideally by the end of this year, to end this pandemic, to lead us out of lockdown,” Prof Adrian Hill, who runs the Jenner Institute at Oxford, told the BBC’s Health and Science correspondent James Gallagher. This is where Indian vaccine makers have a head start over others. Mr Poonawalla’s firm alone has an extra capacity of 400 to 500 million doses. “We have lots of capacity as we have invested in it,” he says.
There’s more. Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech had announced a partnership with the University of Wisconsin Madison and US-based firm FluGen to make almost 300 million doses of a vaccine for global distribution. Zydus Cadilla is working on two vaccines, while Biological E, Indian Immunologicals, and Mynvax are developing a vaccine each. Another four or five home-grown vaccines are in early stages of development.
In the article the World Health Organization’s chief scientist also applauds “the entrepreneurs and pharmaceutical companies who invested in quality manufacturing and in processes that made it possible to produce in bulk.
“The owners of these companies have also had the goal of doing good for the world, while also running a successful business and this model is a win-win for all.”
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