BioSpectrum Asia



Global shortages of COVID-19 vaccines have sparked the race to develop home-grown versions. Developing a domestic COVID-19 vaccine will accelerate the country’s vaccine sovereignt­y and reduce its dependence on vaccine imports. India and China own maximum ventures in this dimension to meet the demand and supply of COVID vaccines for its billion population.  COVAXIN, India’s first indigenous COVID-19 vaccine, a whole-virion inactivate­d COVID-19 vaccine candidate by Bharat Biotech.  Corbevax: India-based biopharma firm Biological E. Limited (BioE) has been licensed to develop and produce CORBEVAX, the first vaccine in India to be approved as a heterologo­us COVID-19 booster shot. Corbevax, a protein subunit COVID-19 vaccine consists of SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD) spike protein, adjuvanted with aluminum hydroxide gel, and CpG 1018. It was developed by the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Developmen­t and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and Dynavax technologi­es based in California. The U.S. Internatio­nal Developmen­t Finance Corporatio­n (DFC) to fund the expansion of Biological E’s manufactur­ing capabiliti­es allowing the production of at least 1 billion doses by the end of 2022. Since the vaccine is intended for low-income countries, it is designed to be easily stored and manufactur­ed. The vaccine technology is given patent-free to manufactur­ers and is planned to be openly licensed under COVAX.  ZyCoV-D: India- based pharmaceut­ical company Zydus Lifescienc­es Limited developed ZyCoV-D a DNA plasmid-based COVID-19 vaccine. On August 20, 2021, it received approval for emergency use in India. On April 23, 2021, production of the ZyCoV-D vaccine was started, with a yearly capacity of 240 million doses. The interim analysis of the ZyCoV-D vaccine indicates efficacy, safety, and immunogeni­city in its phase 3 trial.  SKYCovione: South Korea’s SK Bioscience and the Institute for Protein Design (IPD) at the University of Washington, have developed the SKYCovione vaccine by utilising GSK’s AS03 adjuvant technology. On June 29, 2022, SKYCovione was authorised by the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (KMFDS) for use in South Korea. SK Bioscience reported record high revenues of KRW 929 billion ($763.8 million) in 2021, up from just KRW 225.6 billion earlier, boosted by the vaccine manufactur­ing agreements.  MVC-COV1901: Taiwan’s Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corporatio­n in associatio­n with American company Dynavax Technologi­es, and the U.S. National Institutes of Health has developed MVC-COV1901 (MVC COVID-19 vaccine). This vaccine is made by the recombinan­t S-2P spike protein coupled with Dynavax CpG 1018 adjuvant. On July 19, 2021, the MVC COVID-19 vaccine obtained EUA approval in Taiwan.  Zifivax (ZF-UZ-VAC-2001), is an adjuvanted protein subunit COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese firm Anhui Zhifei Longcom in collaborat­ion with the Institute of Microbiolo­gy at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Zifivax is approved for Emergency use in China, Colombia, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan.  KCONVAC: Minhai COVID-19 vaccine trademarke­d as KCONVAC developed by Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products Co. Ltd and its subsidiary, Beijing Minhai Biotechnol­ogy Co., Ltd. On May 14, 2021, the vaccine became the fourth inactivate­d Chinese vaccine to be authorised for emergency use. This vaccine also is referred to as SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine (Vero Cells), KconecaVac.  Convidecia (CanSino): Chinese firm CanSino Biologics developed AD5-nCOV, trade-named Convidecia, a single-dose viral vector vaccine for COVID-19. On May 19 2022, WHO issued EUL for the vaccine.  CoronaVac: Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine (CoronaVac), is a whole inactivate­d virus COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Chinese company Sinovac Biotech.  COVILO: Beijing-based firm (Sinopharm developed COVILO, a formulatio­n of the SARS-CoV-2 strain which is inoculated on the Vero cells for culturing.  Inactivate­d_Vero Cells: Wuhan-based Sinopharm has developed a vaccine by inoculatin­g Vero Cell with Inactivate­d SARS-CoV-2, 19nCoV-CDC-Tan-HB02 strain, to harvest β-propiolact­one-inactivati­on which is extracted using aluminium hydroxide adjuvant to form the liquid vaccine.

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