Aurobindo Pharma to make COVAXX's potential COVID-19 vaccine for India, UNICEF

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Aurobindo Pharma Ltd announced on Thursday that it would manufacture and sell the COVID-19 vaccine candidate COVAXX from the USA for delivery in India and to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) under a license agreement.
The Indian drug maker also has non-exclusive rights to sell the shot - which is currently being tested at an early stage - in certain other emerging markets, the Hyderabad-based company said in a stock exchange filing.
COVAXX, a privately owned unit of United Biomedical Inc, plans to conduct mid- and late-stage studies for the vaccine candidate in Asia, Latin America and the United States beginning in early 2021.
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Companies said the shot uses normal refrigeration, as opposed to the freezing temperatures required by some vaccines, which are considered beneficial for developing countries.
Aurobindo Pharma shares rose as much as 2.3% and traded 1.4% from 0403 GMT in an bullish market in Mumbai.
Aurobindo said it can currently produce 220 million cans, but is upgrading its facilities to reach capacity of nearly 480 million by June 2021.
The licensing deal comes as COVID-19 infections continue to rise in India after exceeding 10 million last week. It is the second most pandemic-hit nation after the United States.
Reuters reported Tuesday that the country is expected to use Oxford / AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine for an emergency by next week.
India, the world's largest vaccine maker, is also considering approving vaccines for vaccines made by Pfizer and local company Bharat Biotech.
Last month, COVAXX announced it had secured $ 2.8 billion in purchase commitments to deliver more than 140 million doses of its potential COVID-19 vaccine to developing countries such as Brazil, Peru and Ecuador.
(Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; editing by Rashmi Aich)

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