Tata may launch Moderna Covid-19 vaccine in India, says report

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US drug maker Moderna believes that its vaccine retains neutralizing activity and remains protective against the new strain of coronavirus.

Before rolling out vaccines in India, foreign vaccine makers must conduct at least a Phase-three trial with Indian volunteers even if the vaccine is approved outside India. 

According to a report in an Indian newspaper, Tata Group’s health care venture is said to have begun initial discussions with American biotechnology company Moderna Inc for a partnership to launch its Covid-19 vaccine in India. 

The Economic Times reported that officials with knowledge of the matter stated that Tata Medical & Diagnostics may team up with India’s premier research organization Council of Scientific & Industrial Research to run clinical trials of Moderna’s vaccine candidate in India.

Indian government’s norms require foreign vaccine makers to conduct at least a Phase-three trial with Indian volunteers even if the vaccine is approved outside India, before rolling out their vaccines in the country.

As per data released in November from Moderna’s late-stage study indicated that its Covid-19 vaccine was 94.1% effective with no serious safety concerns. Earlier this month, the United States and Europe approved Moderna shots for use. On Monday, Moderna claimed that its Covid-19 vaccine retains neutralizing activity and remains protective against the new strain of coronavirus first identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa.

In November, Tata Group had launched a Covid-19 test kit that gives results in under an hour and is claimed to be as precise as the RT-PCR method. 

As we have reported earlier, India’s drug regulators approved two vaccines for emergency use – Covaxin manufactured by Bharat Biotech and Oxford University and AstraZeneca vaccine  Covishield produced by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India. 

Also Read: Brazil thanks India as 2 million doses of Covishield vaccine land in Sao Paulo

Also Read: Covid-19 and the perils of vaccine nationalism

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