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Jubilant HollisterStier reaches deal to produce COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin for U.S., Canadian markets

UPDATED: Tue., June 15, 2021

Spokane-based pharmaceuticals manufacturer Jubilant HollisterStier will manufacture Covaxin, a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech in India.  (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)
Spokane-based pharmaceuticals manufacturer Jubilant HollisterStier will manufacture Covaxin, a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech in India. (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)

Spokane-based pharmaceuticals manufacturer Jubilant HollisterStier has reached a deal to produce a new COVID-19 vaccine candidate for U.S. and Canadian markets.

The company, a subsidiary of Jubilant Pharma Limited, has entered an agreement with Pennsylvania-based biopharmaceutical company Ocugen to manufacture Covaxin, a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech in India, Jubilant announced Tuesday.

Ocugen is codeveloping Covaxin with Bharat Biotech for the U.S. market.

While the company had been seeking emergency use approval in the U.S., Ocugen announced last week the company has changed course and is seeking full approval at the recommendation of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“Based on Bharat’s strong track record of developing and commercializing vaccines globally and Jubilant’s proven track record in manufacturing, we are well-prepared to transition U.S. manufacturing of Covaxin to our new partner,” J.P. Gabriel, senior vice president of manufacturing and supply chain for Ocugen, said in Tuesday’s announcement.

Ocugen previously announced discussions have started with Health Canada for regulatory approval after the company secured exclusive rights to market the vaccine in the country.

Jubilant HollisterStier is reportedly the only pharmaceutical manufacturer of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics in the state of Washington.

The company is producing the antiviral remdesivir and is working with American biotechnology company Novavax to provide fill-finish manufacturing services for the production of NVX-CoV2373, a COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Novavax said Monday the vaccine demonstrated 90.4% overall efficacy in a recent clinical trial.

In March, Bharat Biotech announced Covaxin demonstrated 81% efficacy in a trial involving 25,800 subjects 18-98 years of age.

While Jubilant has said the company is producing other products related to COVID-19, company leaders have declined to disclose specific details to date, citing confidentiality agreements.

“We are excited to expand our basket of vaccine products and meet the increasing demand from our customers for COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S.,” Amit Arora, president of Jubilant HollisterStier, said in a statement.

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