New Delhi: American pharmaceutical and biotechnology company Moderna has inked a deal with Indian drug maker Cipla to launch its first commercial product Moderna Covid -19 vaccine in India.
Cipla received regulatory approval from the government recently to import and distribute partner Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in the country.
Moderna focuses on vaccine technologies based on messenger RNA (mRNA). Moderna’s vaccine platform inserts synthetic nucleoside-modified messenger RNA (modRNA) into human cells using a coating of lipid nanoparticles.
Moderna’s vaccine will be the fourth shot authorized for use in India, after AstraZeneca and partner Serum Institute of India’s Covishield, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Sputnik V developed by Russia’s Gamaleya Institute.
Talks with another drug maker Pfizer was also on for their vaccine to join India’s fight against the pandemic, a government source said.
After a fall in coronavirus cases from a devastating second wave last month, India has doubled down its efforts to vaccinate its 940 million adults amid fears of a third wave of infections.
The country has administered 61 million doses in the last two weeks starting June 12. So far, India has administered 331.1 million doses.
Cipla is supporting Moderna with the regulatory approval and the import of vaccines to be donated to India, the company said in an email, adding that “at this stage, there is no definitive agreement on commercial supplies.”
India had in May scrapped local trials for well-established foreign coronavirus vaccines to accelerate its vaccination rollout and the officials confirmed that the vaccine developed by Moderna will not require so-called bridging trials.