US pharma majors Novavax and Johnson & Johnson said that their covid vaccine candidates showed promising phase 3 trials, which would boost India’s ongoing vaccination programme. Novavax has tied with Pune-based Serum Institute of India, and Johnson & Johnson has partnered with Hyderabad-based Biological E.
Novavax Inc expects to produce up to 150 million COVID-19 vaccine doses monthly by May or June, its chief executive told Reuters on Friday, a day after reporting interim data that showed its shot to be 89% effective in a UK trial.
Novavax expects to complete the clinical trial for its experimental COVID-19 vaccine in the next few weeks, but is already working on manufacturing to be able to reach full production capacity quickly, Chief Executive Officer Stanley Erck said.
Maryland-based company has an agreement with the GAVI vaccine alliance to supply poorer countries with its shot to be produced by the Serum Institute in India – the world’s largest vaccine maker. It aims to produce 2 billion doses per year.
Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson’s much anticipated one-shot vaccine showed strong protection against COVID-19 infection, the late-stage trial data showed. “The vaccine candidate was 85% effective in preventing severe disease across all regions studied, 28 days after vaccination in all adults 18 years and older,” the company said. The vaccine prevented 66% of moderate to severe cases of COVID-19, according to a company statement on Friday. Over 44,000 participants took part in the late stage trial of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine.
In August 2020, Biological E entered into an agreement with Janssen Pharmaceutica, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson, for the creation / enhancement of manufacturing capacities for drug substance and drug product for Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, Ad26.COV2.S.
India’s vaccination drive
India is home to the world’s largest vaccine makers and has one of the biggest immunization programs.
Indian authorities hope to give shots to 300 million people, roughly the population of the U.S and several times more than its existing program, which targets 26 million infants. The recipients include 30 million doctors, nurses and other front-line workers, to be followed by 270 million people who are either over 50 or have illnesses that make them vulnerable to COVID-19.