Centre books 30 cr doses of Biological-E's COVID-19 vaccine 

Biological-E's COVID-19 vaccine is an RBD protein subunit vaccine. It is currently undergoing Phase-3 clinical trials.

Created On: Jun 3, 2021 12:25 ISTModified On: Jun 3, 2021 12:26 IST
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The Union health ministry has finalised arrangements to book 30 crore vaccine doses of Hyderabad-based Biological-E's COVID vaccine. 

The Ministry informed on June 3, 2021 that an advance payment of Rs 1,500 crore will be made to Biological-E from the Centre.

The vaccine is the second made-in-India vaccine after Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN. The COVID vaccines are set to be manufactured and stockpiled from August to December 2021. 

About Biological-E's COVID-19 vaccine

• Biological-E's COVID-19 vaccine is an RBD protein subunit vaccine. It is currently undergoing Phase-3 clinical trials.

• The manufacturer's proposal was examined and recommended for approval after due diligence by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC).

• Biological-E's COVID Vaccine candidate has been supported by the center-right from the preclinical stage to Phase-3 clinical trials. 

• The centre's Department of Biotechnology extended financial assistance to the manufacturer in terms of grant-in-aid worth Rs 100 crore to develop the vaccine candidate. 

• The department also partnered with the manufacturer to conduct all animal challenge and assay studies through its Research Institute Translational Health Science Technology Institute (THSTI), Faridabad.

• The partnership was undertaken as a part of the central government's 'Mission COVID Suraksha - the Indian COVID-19 Vaccine Development Mission' that was launched to reinforce and accelerate COVID-19 vaccine development efforts as part of the third stimulus package, Atmanirbhar 3.0.

Background 

India currently has three vaccines-Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN, Pune-based Serum Institute of India's Covishield and the Russian vaccine -Sputnik V.

Out of this, COVAXIN is the only made-in-India vaccine. It has been developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Institute of Virology.

Biological E, which is making the second made-in-India vaccine also has a separate deal to produce about 600 million doses of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 shot annually.

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