CEPI partners with Biological E.Ltd for COVID-19 vaccine candidate

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Hyderabad, Dec 29 (PTI) Norway-headquartered CEPI, (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) and city- based Biological E. Limited on Tuesday announced a collaboration to advance the development and manufacture of the latter's COVID-19 subunit vaccine candidate.

CEPI will initially contribute up to USD five million toward the cost of scaling up the process for manufacturing the vaccine and will explore providing additional funding with a goal of potentially enabling the production of 100 million doses in 2021, Bio.E said in a press release here.

Bio E initiatedPhase 1/2 clinical trial in the country last month to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine candidate and expects interim data from the trial to be available in the first quarter of 2021.

CEPI and Bio E are committed to global equitable access of COVID-19 vaccines and have agreed that vaccine output funded by CEPIs investment will be made available for procurement and allocation, if proven to be safe and effective, through the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) Facility, the release said.

The COVAX Facility aims to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries, at all levels of development, that wish to participate.

CEPI Chief Executive Officer Richard Hatchett said Bio Es vaccine candidate has the potential to be produced at scale, and characteristics which could make it suitable for broad distribution in developing countries. Im pleased to partner with Bio E to progress the development of this promising vaccine.' Biological E.Limited's Managing Director Mahima Datla said 'This collaboration with CEPI validates the technology platform BioE is working on for developing an effective COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

'The initial investment from CEPI comes on the heels of investments from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Government of Indias Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), and provides the impetus for accelerated efforts towards a successful and scalable outcome for global access, he added. PTI GDK VS VS