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Aurobindo Pharma to make COVAXX’s potential COVID-19 vaccine for India, UNICEF

Currently, Aurobindo can produce 220 million doses, but is ramping up its facilities to reach a capacity of nearly 480 million by June 2021

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Aurobindo Pharma said that it would make and sell US-based COVAXX’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate for supply in India and to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) under a licensing deal.

The Indian drugmaker also has non-exclusive rights to sell the shot — which is currently undergoing an early-stage trial — in certain other emerging markets, the Hyderabad-based company said in an exchange filing.

COVAXX, a unit of privately-owned United Biomedical, plans to pursue mid- and late-stage trials for the vaccine candidate from early 2021 in Asia, Latin America and the United States.

The companies said the shot uses normal refrigeration as opposed to the freezing temperatures required for some vaccines, seen as beneficial for developing countries.

Aurobindo said it could currently produce 220 million doses, but is ramping up its facilities to reach a capacity of nearly 480 million by June 2021.

Its licensing deal comes as COVID-19 infections in India continue to rise after crossing 10 million last week. It’s the second worst-hit nation by the pandemic after the United States.

Commenting on the development, N Govindarajan, Managing Director, Aurobindo Pharma, said, “We are proud to partner with COVAXX in developing the first-ever synthetic peptide-based vaccine to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. This vaccine has immense potential in eliminating shedding, and hence containing, the spread of the pandemic.”

Under the signed agreement, Aurobin