Biological E's made-in-India vaccine named Corbevax is more than 90% effective against COVID-19 variants, according to the company. Corbevax which is similar to the Novavax vaccine, is likely to be a gamechanger in the fight against the pandemic, said NK Arora, Chairperson of the Centre's COVID Working Group.
Corbevax in particular may hold huge potential since the vaccine, being developed by Hyderabad-based Biological E may be sold at an incredibly low Rs 250 for two doses.
"Bio E will be out likely in October with an efficacy matching Novavax's. In other words, 90%. They are moving to stage 3 trials soon," said Dr Arora, also Chairperson of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) which guides the government on matters related to vaccination.
Novavax vaccine, which is more than 90% effective including against COVID-19 variants, according to the company. Novavax will be produced in India by the Serum Institute of India, which also makes Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield.
"The Indian mRNA vaccine is in phase 2. We will have it by September. It is more compatible with the Indian setting in storage, transport and shelf life," said Dr Arora.
While speaking with NDTV, Dr Arora said he believed there is a strong chance that the world will ultimately depend on India for affordable and effective vaccines against COVID-19.
How Corbevax works
Corbevax is a 'recombinant protein sub-unit' vaccine, which means it is made up of a specific part of SARS-CoV-2 the spike protein on the virus's surface.
The spike protein allows the virus to enter the cells in the body so that it can replicate and cause disease.
However, when this protein alone is given to the body, it is not expected to be harmful as the rest of the virus is absent.
The body is expected to develop an immune response against the injected spike protein.
So when the real virus attempts to infect the body, it will already have an immune response ready that will make it unlikely for the person to fall severely ill.