Serum Institute of India(SII) Private Limited has entered into a new partnership with Gavi, the International Vaccine Alliance and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to accelerate the process of manufacture and delivery of up to 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for India and other low and middle income countries(LMICs) by 2021 as part of the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), a mechanism within the COVAX Facility.
- The vaccines will be made available to the 92 countries included in Gavi’s COVAX AMC. SII has set a ceiling price of USD 3 per dose.
- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, through its strategic investment fund, will provide at-risk funding of USD 150 million to GAVI.
i.The funding will be used to support the SII to manufacture potential vaccine candidates from AstraZeneca and Novavax.
ii.The doses will be produced for distribution to India and LMIC if a vaccine or vaccines gains regulatory approval(licensure) and World Health Organization (WHO) prequalification.
iii.AstraZeneca’s candidate vaccine, if successful, will be available to 57 Gavi-eligible countries. Novavax’s candidate, if successful, will be available to all 92 countries supported by the AMC.
Note– The agreement also provides an option to secure additional doses. Gavi COVAX AMC, which is currently seeking USD 2 billion in initial seed funding, will meet at least part of the cost of procurement for the vaccine doses.
Highlights of the collaboration
The collaboration between Gavi, SII, and the Gates Foundation supports the efforts of the ACT Accelerator’s vaccines pillar, also known as COVAX, co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the WHO, to accelerate the development of COVID-19 vaccines and ensure rapid, global access to them.
The deal is based on a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) between AstraZeneca and Gavi, announced in June, which will guarantee 300 million doses of AstraZeneca’s candidate vaccine to the wider COVAX Facility, to be supplied upon licensure or prequalification
i.Recently, Novavax has entered a supply and license agreement with SII for the development, distribution, and commercialisation ofNVX-CoV2373, Novavax’ COVID-19 vaccine candidate, in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) and India.
ii.SII had bagged a contract with British drugmaker AstraZeneca to supply one billion doses of Oxford University’s potential COVID-19 vaccine for LMICs by the end of 2020
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