Indian-owned UK firm strikes Covid vaccine pact with India

London: An Indian-origin professor’s Oxford-based company on Tuesday announced that its Indian partner, the Serum Institute of India (SIIPL), has begun trials of a novel virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine targeting Covid-19 which has the potential to offer a groundbreaking new approach to fighting the pandemic.

Prof Sumi Biswas, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of SpyBiotech – an Oxford University spinoff company with a novel vaccine platform to target infectious diseases, cancer and chronic diseases, said the first subjects have been dosed in a Phase I/II trial.

SpyBiotech said it has signed an exclusive global licensing agreement with SIIPL for the development of the vaccine as part of the study initiated in Australia.

“Combining SpyBiotech’s unique platform technology with Serum’s extensive expertise developing VLPs and its manufacturing capability is an exciting development at a critical time, giving us the tools to produce the large volume of doses required to support the global fight against Covid-19,” said Biswas, a Kolkata-born immunologist.

“For SpyBiotech, this is an opportunity to provide an accelerated proof point for our platform technology, alongside the other candidates which we are advancing into clinical development. Our technology can be combined with multiple vaccine delivery platforms to create a plug and display vaccine which is critical for generating vaccines rapidly and safely,” she said.

Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive Officer of SIIPL, said: “We are very excited about the collaboration with SpyBiotech to work on this novel vaccine for Covid-19.

“This new technology has the potential to be a powerful new approach to tackling the pandemic. SIIPL is looking forward to working alongside SpyBiotech to advance this candidate through clinical development.” (PTI)

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