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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

India-Australia collaboration to develop ‘variant-proof’ COVID-19 vaccine

CEPI partners with consortium of Bharat Biotech, University of Sydney and ExcellGene

Norway-based Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) is providing funding of up to $19.3 million to support the development of a ‘variant-proof’ SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate to an international multidisciplinary consortium comprising Bharat Biotech International Ltd (BBIL) , India, the University of Sydney, Australia and ExcellGene SA, Switzerland.

CEPI’s funding will support the consortium as it seeks to establish preclinical and clinical proof of concept for an adjuvanted subunit vaccine designed to provide broad protection against all known SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, as well as future variants of the virus which have not yet emerged. CEPI will fund the researchers to conduct activities including immunogen design, preclinical studies, manufacturing process development and a Phase 1 clinical trial.

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In this new vaccine design, modified trimeric spike immunogens will be produced in a robust and scalable process with high purity and yield at low cost, based on a biomanufacturing approach that has provided significant quantities of protein therapeutics to the world. This strategy could also be used to enable rapid development of broadly protective vaccines against other betacoronaviruses, as well as vaccines against Disease X—unknown pathogens with pandemic potential that emerge in the future.

“BBIL has successfully commercialized a universal COVID-19 vaccine for adults and children. While current generation of vaccines are safe and effective, against currently known variants, it is imperative that we focus on innovation for multi-epitope vaccines, where a single vaccine can protect against all future variants”, said Dr Krishna Ella, Chairman & Managing Director, BBIL.

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