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Aurobindo Pharma inks deal with US firm to make Covid vaccine

Aurobindo Pharma Ltd announced on Thursday it would make US-based COVAXX’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate for distribution in India and to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) under a licensing deal.

The Indian drugmaker also has non-exclusive rights to sell the vaccine, currently undergoing an early-stage trial, in certain other emerging markets, the Indian pharma major said in an exchange filing.

COVAXX, a unit of privately-owned United Biomedical Inc, plans to pursue mid- and late-stage trials for the vaccine candidate from early 2021 in Asia, Latin America and the United States.

The companies said the shot uses normal refrigeration which will make it easier to handle for developing countries.

Aurobindo said it could currently produce 220 million doses, but is ramping up its facilities to reach a capacity of nearly 480 million by June 2021.

The Indian authorities are likely to approve the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine for emergency use by next week.

India, the world’s biggest vaccine producing country, is also considering emergency use authorization applications for vaccines made by Pfizer and local company Bharat Biotech.

COVAXX claims it has already received purchase commitments totaling $2.8 billion to deliver more than 140 million doses of its potential Covid-19 vaccine to developing countries, including Brazil, Peru and Ecuador..