BRASILIA (Reuters) – Bharat Biotech India this week offered a COVID-19 vaccine to Brazil that is in its final stage of clinical trials and a possible technology transfer partnership, a company executive said on Friday.
A private pharmaceutical company based in the southern city of Hyderabad is developing a whole virion inactivated vaccine called Covaxin that could be licensed in the second quarter of 2021.
“The data looks very good in terms of both reduction and prevention of disease, and we are starting Phase 3 clinical trials this week,” Executive Director Sai Prasad told Reuters.
Bharat Biotech is currently recruiting 26,000 volunteers in India for trials and results are expected between March and April, he said.
Pfizer Inc said on Wednesday that it had offered to provide Brazil with millions of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the first half of 2021, amid evidence that the coronavirus is spreading faster in South America’s largest country.
Pfizer and German partner BioNTech SE report the results of recent trials showing the vaccine is 95% effective in preventing COVID-19.
Bharat Biotech representatives met this week with Brazil’s health ministry and regulatory agency officials to see what are the requirements for vaccine licensing in Brazil and whether trials should take place there as well.
“We are very open to partnerships and technology transfer,” Prasad said in an interview from Hyderabad.
Bharat Biotech has sold a Hepatitis B vaccine to Brazil and is developing another vaccine for Zika and Chicungunya that the South American country is interested in, he said.
Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Edited by Nick Macfie