Because the pandemic entered its third yr, the Texas Youngsters’s Hospital Middle for Vaccine Growth and the Baylor School of Medication gifted the world the primary COVID vaccine designed particularly for world well being. This patent-free vaccine, referred to as CORBEVAX, is a milestone for world well being fairness. Primarily based on an older and extra broadly used expertise than the now well-known COVID mRNA vaccines, it may assist finish vaccine hesitancy in some components of the world. It additionally serves as a blueprint for creating a potent vaccine for pandemic use within the absence of considerable public funding.
We’re a part of the workforce that developed the vaccine, and our establishment licensed the vaccine prototype and transferred its expertise in 2021—with no strings connected—to Organic E. Restricted, an organization based mostly in Hyderabad, India. The Indian authorities has approved the vaccine, and Organic E. plans to ship greater than a billion further doses to different international locations. Because of this whether it is broadly approved, CORBEVAX may quickly vaccinate extra individuals than have the vaccine doses donated to this point by the U.S. authorities or some other G7 nation.
This COVID vaccine has a number of distinct options that make it appropriate to be used in resource-poor settings: it’s protected, efficient, cheap and simple to retailer and might be produced domestically at excessive portions. We anticipate it will likely be utilized in low- and middle-income international locations the place vaccine availability has principally been abysmal.
CORBEVAX makes use of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to stimulate an immune response, however the expertise used to develop it resembles that of the recombinant hepatitis B vaccine utilized in many resource-poor international locations. Manufacturing processes for such vaccines are typically effectively understood and won’t require a steep studying curve, like these wanted for vaccines based mostly on new applied sciences reminiscent of mRNA (utilized by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech) or adenovirus (AstraZeneca and Sputnik).
Firms in Indonesia and Bangladesh have additionally licensed the expertise, as has California-based ImmunityBio, which is constructing manufacturing capability in South Africa and different international locations in Africa. Such technology-transfer agreements with appropriate companions signify the best for a way COVID vaccines can and must be produced domestically and broadly in resource-poor international locations.
Our evaluation of accessible knowledge means that, just like the hepatitis B vaccine, CORBEVAX has a superb security profile. In a section 3 trial carried out in India, CORBEVAX produced no critical opposed occasions, making it one of many most secure COVID vaccines in use. When put next with the AstraZeneca–College of Oxford vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, CORBEVAX additionally produced extra lasting safety and extra neutralizing antibodies in opposition to the Delta and Beta variants of SARS-CoV-2. It neutralized variants of concern in laboratory research and was extremely protecting in two primate trials by which the animals have been contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 to see how effectively the vaccine defended them in opposition to an infection. The human trial outcomes are being submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. Scientific trials in youngsters are underway in India.
Primarily based on the usage of the hepatitis B vaccine, we anticipate individuals will readily settle for CORBEVAX and related recombinant protein COVID vaccines. If there was ever a COVID vaccine which may conquer vaccine hesitancy and refusal, this may very well be the one.
Texas Youngsters’s Hospital developed this vaccine with no main federal or G7 help, as an alternative relying nearly completely on personal philanthropy based mostly in Texas, New York and elsewhere. Is it attainable that had we loved even a small fraction of the help afforded to the biotech or multinational firms producing new-technology vaccines, the world may need been vaccinated by now? May the emergence of the Delta and Omicron varieties, which seemingly arose from unvaccinated individuals, have been prevented? It’s not too late. We proceed to ask the U.S. and different G7 nations for help in co-developing our recombinant protein vaccine with new companions in different low-resource international locations and advancing them to the COVAX sharing facility for world distribution.
Throughout 2022, we hope to associate with the World Well being Group and different United Nations companies to vaccinate the world. We imagine that world vaccine fairness is lastly at hand and that it’s the solely factor that may convey the COVID pandemic to an finish.