Hyderabad: The Hyderabad-based firm, Bharat Biotech, on 12 January announced that it has signed an agreement with Brazil's Precisa Medicamentos for the supply of its COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin.

A team from Precisa Medicamentos visited the Bharat Biotech facility last week to discuss potential export possibilities of Covaxin, India's first indigenous vaccine for COVID-19. The team met the chairman and managing director of Bharat Biotech, Dr. Krishna Ella, on 7 and 8 January at the company's facility in Genome Valley, Hyderabad. The ambassador of Brazil to India, André Aranha Corrêa do Lago, who joined the team virtually, expressed his keen interest on behalf of the government of Brazil to procure Covaxin.

Supply of Covaxin will be prioritised for the public market through a direct procurement by the government of Brazil while supplies to the private market will be based upon receipt of market authorisation from the Brazilian regulatory authority ANVISA.

While pointing out that Covaxin has generated excellent safety data with robust immune responses to multiple viral proteins that persist, Dr. Ella said, "As a company determined to protect global public health, it has always been important for us to develop vaccines for a global cause. Covaxin is a perfect example of novel product development from India. Our goal for all vaccines developed at Bharat Biotech is to provide global access to populations that need it the most. We are happy to note that vaccines invented in India are able to address the public health needs of Brazil."

Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical director of Precisa Medicamentos, Emanuela Medrades, said Bharat Biotech had exceeded their expectations and demonstrated quality and safety at every level. "We identified highly technological, scientific, and sanitary control levels. There were also excellent outcomes in clinical trials, which will be published soon," Medrades said.

Covaxin is being developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV). It is a highly purified and inactivated two-dose SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

The phase III clinical trials of Covaxin that started in mid-November are currently ongoing with over 26,000 volunteers across India. This is India's first and only phase III efficacy study for a COVID-19 vaccine and the largest phase III efficacy trial ever conducted for any vaccine in India.

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