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Tata In Partnership Talks With Moderna To Launch COVID-19 Vaccine In India: Report

Tata In Partnership Talks With Moderna To Launch COVID-19 Vaccine In India: Report

Indian conglomerate Tata Sons are in discussion with Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) for a partnership with its healthcare unit Tata Medical & Diagnostics, the Economic Times reported on Monday.

What Happened: Tata Medical & Diagnostics could team up with the Indian government's key R&D organization, the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, to launch and carry out clinical trials for Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine candidate in India, Economic Times reported citing sources familiar with the matter.

India mandates foreign companies to conduct bridging phase-3 trials locally with Indian volunteers, even if the vaccine is approved outside India. 

Related News: Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Gets Approved In Australia

Why It Matters: Moderna received funding from World Health Organization's (WHO) COVAX facility to develop its COVID-19 mRNA vaccine and aims to equitably distribute 2 billion doses in low-and middle-income countries, including India, by the end of 2021.

Private companies in India are waiting for government directives for the role it can play in the nation's vaccine program, one of the world's largest.

Moderna has no separate tie-up with Indian manufacturers yet, and it has first supply commitments to governments that pre-ordered vaccines. Moderna vaccine has been approved for emergency use in the US, Canada, and the U.K.

Moderna uses similar mRNA technology as peer Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE), although it requires a storage temperature of -25 degrees Celsius compared to Pfizer's -70 degrees Celsius. 

Price Action: MRNA shares are lower by 0.33% at $130.59 in the pre-market session on the last check Monday.


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