Bharat Biotech, Thomas Jefferson University ink deal to develop Covid-19 vaccine candidate

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on May 20, 2020

Hyderbad-headquartered vaccine-maker Bharat Biotech and Thomas Jefferson University of Philadelphia have signed an exclusive deal to develop a new vaccine candidate for Covid-19 invented at Jefferson.

The novel vaccine was developed using an existing deactivated rabies vaccine as a vehicle for coronavirus proteins.

Infectious diseases expert Matthias Schnell’s lab developed the vaccine in January and recently completed preliminary tests in animal models.

The vaccine showed a ‘strong’ antibody response in mice receiving it. The researchers are currently testing whether vaccinated animals are protected from SARS-CoV-2 infection, with results expected next month.

Under the licence agreement, Bharat Biotech gains exclusive rights to develop, market and deliver Jefferson’s vaccine across the world excluding the, Europe, Japan, etc, where Jefferson continues to seek partners.

With support from the Department of Biotechnology, Bharat Biotech aims to get into human trials as soon as December 2020.

“Our partnership with Bharat Biotech will accelerate our vaccine candidate through the next phases of development,” said Schnell, who directs The Jefferson Vaccine Institute and chairs Jefferson’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology,

“We will be able to complete animal testing and move to phase 1 clinical trial rapidly” he added.

Krishna Mohan, Chief Executive Officer of Bharat Biotech said: “We are particularly excited about this technology since the basic proof of concept has been established while using it for other pandemic infectious diseases.”

Published on May 20, 2020

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