Texas-based Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) has entered into a licensing agreement with Indian pharmaceutical company Biological E Limited (BE) for the development of coronavirus vaccine.
According to BCM, BE has licenced the recombinant protein COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed at Baylor.
The company engaged in licence negotiations with the BCM Ventures team after initial discussions on Baylor's technology and how it could possibly inform a vaccine to address the current global pandemic.
The company will leverage its past experience for the further development and commercialisation of the vaccine candidate, which is currently produced using a proven yeast-based expression technology, the Texas-based BCM said.
India has recorded 33,87,500 coronavirus cases and 61,529 fatalities due to the disease, while the US is leading the chart with over 5,869,000 cases and 180,800 deaths.
Dr Peter Hotez, professor and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor, and his colleagues have already been making SARs and MERS vaccines. "Then, when we got word about COVID-19, we saw that the sequence for the new virus was similar to some of the viruses that we were already making vaccines for," said Hotez, who is also the co-director of Texas Children's Centre for Vaccine Development.
Hotez and his team were able to quickly move on to creating a COVID-19 vaccine, which resulted in the collaboration with a large vaccine producer in India.
The vaccine is still in trials in India with the hope that it will be able to roll out sometime next year.
Meanwhile, the BE in a statement said the partnership with Baylor would help accelerate the development of an affordable vaccine, especially for India and other low- and middle-income nations.