Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla said on Saturday that the company is hopeful of launching Novavax's coronavirus vaccine Covovax by June this year.
The development comes a day after the Pune-based pharma giant sought the Drugs Controller General of India's (DCGI) permission to carry out a small domestic trial of the vaccine, which the Serum Institute is developing in partnership with American vaccine developer Novavax.
It was found to be 89.3% effective in a UK phase-3 trial. If approved, Novavax could be India's third COVID-19 vaccine. SII has partnered with the US-based biotech company to manufacture 1 billion doses of the vaccine in 2021.
Poonawalla said that the Serum Institute's tie-up with Novavax has published 'excellent efficacy results'.
"Our partnership for a COVID-19 vaccine with @Novavax has also published excellent efficacy results. We have also applied to start trials in India. Hope to launch #COVOVAX by June 2021!" the SII chief tweeted.
Presently, SII's Covishield, and Bharat Biotech's indigenous Covaxin are the only two vaccines against coronavirus in India.
Till last week, around 16 lakh people had been inoculated in India since the vaccination drive was launched in the country against COVID-19, the Union Health Ministry said.
Both Covishield and Covaxin are being administered as part of the country's mass inoculation drive.