New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: After getting emergency use approval for Covishield in India, Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla on Saturday said that his firm is preparing to launch another COVID-19 vaccine 'Covovax' in the country.

Poonawalla said that 'Covovax' has found to be 89.3 per cent effective in a trial in the United Kingdom (UK) and the SII has sought permission from Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to start its local clinical trials.

"Our partnership for a COVID-19 vaccine with Novavax has also published excellent efficacy results. We have also applied to start trials in India. Hope to launch COVOVAX by June 2021," Poonawalla tweeted on Saturday.

Serum Institute, which is world's largest vaccine maker, was given permission along with Bharat Biotech's Covaxin for emergency use authorisation in India by the DCGI. While giving its permission, the DCGI had said that Covishield and Covaxin will be administered in two dosages.

About Covovax, the COVID-19 vaccine which is being developed by SII and Novavax:

In a press statement, Novavax announced that NVX-CoV2373, its protein-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate, met the primary endpoint, with a vaccine efficacy of 89.3 per cent, in its Phase three clinical trial conducted in the UK.

The study assessed efficacy during a period with high transmission and with a new UK variant strain of the virus emerging and circulating widely. It was conducted in partnership with the UK Government's Vaccines Taskforce.

The study, which has enrolled 15,000 people aged 18 to 84, is expected to be used to apply for use in Britain, the European Union and other countries.

NVX-CoV2373 contains a full-length, prefusion spike protein made using Novavax' recombinant nanoparticle technology and the company's proprietary saponin-based Matrix-M adjuvant. The purified protein is encoded by the genetic sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein and is produced in insect cells.

It can neither cause COVID-19 nor can it replicate, is stable at 2 degrees Celsius to 8 degrees Celsius (refrigerated) and is shipped in a ready-to-use liquid formulation that permits distribution using existing vaccine supply chain channels.

(With ANI inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma