Tata Medical & Diagnostics could join forces with the Indian Institute of Science and Industrial Research to carry out clinical studies of Moderna’s vaccine candidate in India.
Moderna chose not to respond to Reuters’ request for comments outside business hours, while Tata Medical & Diagnostics didn’t reply right away.
The Tata Group had released a Covid-19 test kit that produces results in less than an hour and as accurately as the RT-PCR process.
The financial daily cited unidentified officials saying that preliminary talks between Tata Medical & Diagnostics and Moderna have begun, and any substantive arrangements will be concluded once the Center sends a green signal for the involvement of the private sector.
Moderna does not actually have a separate relationship with Indian drug manufacturers, and its first procurement obligations are to governments who have pre-ordered vaccines.
Rather than Pfizer’s vaccine, which must be stored at or below minus 70 degrees Celsius, Moderna’s can be maintained at normal cooling temperatures, rendering it suitable for developing countries, such as India, where cold chains are minimal.
India mandates that every vaccine manufacturer must carry out an additional local analysis if it is to be deemed under what the country considers the world’s largest vaccination program.
Pharma players in India are eagerly looking towards the health ministry to explain the role they should play in the vaccination program. Several firms in the world with a multinational partnership to research and distribute Covid-19 vaccines include the Serum Institute for Vaccines developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca; Dr. Reddy’s for Russian Sputnik V vaccine; and Biological E is running a trial for Johnson & Johnson’s product.
Emergency use of the vaccine was given to Bharat Biotech and the state-run Indian Medical Research Council and another approved vaccine from Oxford University and AstraZeneca developed by the Serum Institute.
India’s drug regulator announced that the overall efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine, locally named COVISHIELD, was 70.42% based on overseas trials, but the authorization of Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN was questioned for the deficiency of efficacy evidence.