The Serum Institute of India (SII) on Friday said that it is set to enter a partnership of $150 million with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-backed GAVI to manufacture 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine for India and other emerging economies.
The Pune-based research firm has already been authorized for conducting Phase II+III of human trial rounds for the development and commercialization of two leading vaccine candidates in the world – Oxford University and AstraZeneca’s Covishield, and Novavax – in India and other low and middle-income countries.
Together, GAVI and SII, intend to lead COVAX, a scheme designed for the fast and equitable access of coronavirus vaccine around the globe, and deliver 2 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2021.
The institute is planning to introduce candidate vaccines from AstraZeneca and Novavax for COVID-19 at less than Rs 250 per dose in India, and it is expected to be available as early as the first half of 2021.
Earlier this week, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approved Serum Institute’s permission to conduct clinical trials of Oxford University-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in India.
The experimental vaccine is already in the midst of Phase II and III clinical trials in the UK, Phase III trials in Brazil, and Phase I and II clinical trials in South Africa.