Tata Group In Talks To Launch Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine In India: Report

Tata Medical & Diagnostics could team up with the India's Council of Scientific and Industrial Research to carry out clinical trials of Moderna's vaccine candidate in India, the report said.

Tata Group’s healthcare venture is said to have begun initial negotiations with Moderna Inc for a collaboration to launch its COVID-19 vaccine in India, the Economic Times reported on Monday.

Tata Medical & Diagnostics is believed to have teamed up with the Indian Council of Science and Industrial Research to conduct clinical trials of Moderna’s vaccine candidate in India, according to the report, citing officials who are familiar with the matter.

Moderna did not respond to Reuters’ request for comments outside business hours, while Tata Medical & Diagnostics did not respond immediately.

Unlike Pfizer’s vaccine, which must be held at or below minus 70 degrees Celsius, Moderna’s can be stored at normal cooling temperatures, making it more suitable for poorer countries, such as India, where cold chains are minimal.

Data published in November from Moderna’s late-stage analysis showed that 94.1 per cent was successful without significant safety concerns. The shot was licensed for use in the United States in December and Europe earlier this month.

India mandates that every vaccine maker must carry out an additional local study if it is to be considered what the country considers the world’s largest vaccination programme.

India gave emergency-use approval to a vaccine by Bharat Biotech and state-run Indian Council of Medical Research and another licensed from Oxford University and AstraZeneca that is being produced by the Serum Institute.

India has the second-highest caseload of COVID-19 in the world after the United States, but regular cases have declined since peaking in September.

India’s drug controller announced that the overall efficacy of AstraZeneca vaccine, locally named COVISHIELD, was 70.42% based on overseas trials, but the approval of Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN was criticized for lack of efficacy evidence.

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