Biological E. to receive mRNA vaccine tech from WHO

Hub has potential to expand production capacity for products other than Covid vaccines

Hub has potential to expand production capacity for products other than Covid vaccines

Vaccine maker Biological E. has been selected to receive mRNA technology from the World Health Organization’s technology transfer hub.

After considering a number of proposals from India, the WHO’s Advisory Committee on Vaccine Product Development has selected Biological E. as the recipient, the Hyderabad-based company said on Monday.

Mainly set up to the . to deal with
Covid-19 emergency, the WHO technology transfer hub has the potential to expand manufacturing capacity for other products, including treatments, and address other priorities such as malaria, HIV and cancer. The WHO and partners will work with the Government of India and Biological E to develop a roadmap and provide training and support for the company to begin production of mRNA vaccines as soon as possible, it said.

“We are very pleased with the confidence that the WHO has placed in our organization… this is also a reflection of our world-class processes, scale and effectiveness,” said BE Managing Director Mahima Datla.

The company has been investing in mRNA technologies since last year, and the partnership with WHO will enhance its ability to develop next-generation mRNA vaccines that may be more appropriate globally and expand the range of vaccine availability worldwide, she said.

One of the largest vaccine manufacturers, BE’s Corbevax, a recombinant protein subunit vaccine, is part of the national immunization program against
Covid-19. It is approved for emergency use for children ages 12-18 and adults up to 80 years.

The WHO said the mRNA vaccines use a messenger RNA made in a lab to teach human cells how to produce a protein that, in turn, initiates an immune response in the body against a particular disease. The immune response will fight off the actual virus as it enters the body. At present, India has not made a COVID-19 vaccine on the mRNA platform. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are two COVID-19 vaccines developed on mRNA technology.


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