Tata Medical and Diagnostics, the healthcare unit of the Tata Group, is reportedly in early talks with Moderna, an American biotechnology company, for a tie-up to roll out anti-coronavirus vaccine in India. It is worth noting that in November last year the Tata Group had launched a Covid-19 test kit that gives results in under an hour and as precise as the RT-PCR method.
Tata is likely to join hands with the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR)—India’s premier research organisation—to conduct clinical trials of Moderna’s vaccine candidate in India.
It is worth mentioning here that foreign vaccine makers must carry out a bridging trial on the Indian population in the country before rolling out their products. More importantly, if the vaccines are approved abroad, foreign companies must conduct phase-3 trials with volunteers in India.
In January 2020, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)—a part of the COVAX facility of the World Health Organisation—provided funds to Moderna to develop its mRNA vaccine against the coronavirus. Plus, the COVAX facility wants to equitably distribute 200 crore Covid-19 vaccines in low-and middle-income countries including India by the end of 2021.
In June 2020, the Mumbai-based coffee-to-cars conglomerate established Tata Medical & Diagnostics amid the coronavirus crisis and is ready to enter the country’s Covid-19-led health requirements in the devices and formulations space.