Tech Transfer eNews Blog

Bharat Biotech and Thomas Jefferson U enter licensing deal to advance COVID-19 vaccine

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: May 27th, 2020

India-based life science firm Bharat Biotech has entered into a licensing agreement with Thomas Jefferson University (TJU) to advance a novel vaccine against COVID-19.

Developed by TJU professor Matthias Schnell, the vaccine is made from part of the new coronavirus and is combined with an existing, proven vaccine — a deactivated rabies vaccine — that serves as a carrier.

“The benefit is that the carrier vaccine has already been rigorously tested and shown to be safe and effective,” says Schnell.

In preliminary tests, the vaccine showed a strong antibody response in mice. Researchers at TJU are now testing whether the vaccinated animals are protected from SARS-CoV-2 infection, with results expected next month.

Under the terms of the licensing agreement, Bharat Biotech will have the rights to develop and commercialize the vaccine, if approved, in more than 80 countries. The deal excludes the US, Europe and Japan, where TJU continues to seek industry partners.

According to Bharat CEO Krishna Mohan, through this deal, the company will be involved in
“end-to-end” development of the vaccine, accelerating it through animal testing and into a Phase 1 clinical trial by the end of the year.

Source: Philadelphia Business Journal

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