As Covid-19 cases rise in various parts of the country, the Drugs Controller General of India has approved the restricted use of Covaxin and Corbevax in emergency for children below 12 years. The later was already being used for inoculation against Covid-19 in the 12-18 age groups.
Corbevax is a protein sub-unit Covid-19 vaccine, developed by Hyderabad-based bio-products company Biological E, in collaboration with biopharmaceutical company Dynavax Technologies and Baylor College of Medicine in the US.
India’s Department of Biotechnology and its public sector undertaking, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council, have supported the vaccine candidate from the pre-clinical stage through Phase III clinical studies.
Corbevax uses a traditional recombinant protein-based technology that enables its production at large scales making it accessible to inoculate the global population. The vaccine technology was created and engineered at the Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, US.
It was then licensed to Biological E through a commercialisation team at the Texas-based university for development and production. The adjuvant used in the vaccine is developed by Dynaxav Technologies in the US.
It is made from the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the coronavirus spike protein, which allows the virus to latch on and enter human cells.
When injected, the harmless piece of the spike protein is expected to trigger an immune response in the body.
The available safety and immunogenicity results of the ongoing phase II and III clinical studies indicated that the vaccine is safe and immunogenic. The Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, an autonomous institute of the Department of Biotechnology, provided immunogenicity data for the Phase II and III studies.
Corbevax is a two-dose vaccine administered intramuscularly and can be stored at 2ºC to 8ºC. Clinical trials indicate that Corbevax can effectively prevent Covid-19 disease following two doses given at four week’s interval. However, the duration of protection against Covid-19 disease is currently unknown.