Aurobindo Pharma Limited and COVAXX, a US-based company, have entered into an exclusive license agreement to develop, commercialise and manufacture UB-612, the first multitope peptide-based vaccine to fight Covid-19, for India and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

COVAXX is currently conducting Phase 1 clinical trials for the vaccine candidate. UB-612 is a multitope, synthetic peptide-based Covid-19 vaccine candidate. Phase 2 and 3 clinical trials will begin in early Q1 2021 in Asia, Latin America and the US.

N Govindarajan, Managing Director, of the Hyderabad-based pharma major Aurobindo Pharma, in a statement, said: “We are proud to partner with COVAXX in developing the first-ever synthetic peptide-based vaccine to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. This vaccine has immense potential in eliminatingand containing the spread of the pandemic.”

Under the agreement, Aurobindo Pharma has obtained exclusive rights to develop, manufacture and sell COVAXX’s UB-612 vaccine in India and to UNICEF, as well as non-exclusive rights in other select emerging and developing markets. Aurobindo will manufacture the finished doses at its facilities in Hyderabad. Aurobindo has the capacity of manufacturing 220 million doses in multi-dose presentation and is building additional facilities to have a total capacity of nearly 480 million doses by June 2021.

“COVAXX is committed to providing an equitable distribution of UB-612 by prioritising emerging markets where the unmet need is greatest,” said Mei Mei Hu, co-founder and CEO of COVAXX. “During this global health crisis response, we must establish partners with the strongest capabilities, like Aurobindo, to prioritise the development and delivery of our vaccine. As one of the leading industry players with a strong track record of execution and investment in vaccines, Aurobindo Pharma is the ideal partner to advance UB-612 in India and other emerging nations and to support our mission of democratising health worldwide.”

Produced from a commercially-proven vaccine platform, UB-612 is designed to activate both B and T-cell arms of the immune system. Preclinical studies have shown that the UB-612 vaccine candidate neutralises antibodies.

COVAXX is a subsidiary of United Biomedical Inc. (UBI), founded in 1985, with headquarters in New York.