Searle’s agreement with Livzon Mapharm is linked to a vaccine that is currently in Phase II clinical trials
Pakistani pharmaceutical company Searle has inked a deal with China’s Livzon Mapharm allowing it to license, manufacture, and supply a new COVID-19 vaccine in the country, according to information provided by the company to the Pakistan Stock Exchange.
“Searle Company has concluded an exclusive licensing and supply agreement with Livzon Mapharm Inc. for the Recombinant Novel Coronavirus Vaccine (V-01). The licensing agreement also covers the manufacturing transition of (V-01) in Pakistan,” reads the letter submitted by the company. It said that the vaccines was in the final phases of its clinical trial, adding that early results were promising.
“The Recombinant Novel COVID-19 Vaccine (V-01) developed by Livzon has shown promising results in Phase I and II clinical trials,” it said. “The Phase III clinical study will include multiple countries and enroll more than 20,000 subjects, with the aim to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity of V-01 program,” it added.
According to Searle, V-01 has many potential advantages, including a strong safety profile, high neutralizing antibody titer in vivo, long durability, and an easy scaling up for manufacturing. “Searle is confident that in the existing pandemic, the relevant authorities will take up the matter on urgent basis and support for fast-track approval to carry out Phase III clinical trials in Pakistan,” it added.
“Searle is poised to grow and increase its market share among its competitors and maintain its organic and inorganic growth, in a relatively turbulent regulatory environment. While also focusing on its product demand in international market, coupled with increased healthcare spending trend after COVID-19, which will translate into greater revenues for the industry,” the letter concluded.
The new vaccine would require approval by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan before it can be used by the public. Thus far, the government has approved four vaccines for emergency-use in the country—China’s Sinopharm and CansinoBio, Russia’s Sputnik-V and Oxford University’s AstraZeneca. Of these, only Sinopharm, CanSinoBio and Sputnik-V are currently available, with Sputnik-V being offered by private importers.
Pakistan has one of the lowest regional rates of vaccination against coronavirus, with authorities saying around 800,000 citizens have received at least one shot of a two-dose regime in the two months since the inoculation drive started. Healthcare professionals have urged the government to expedite the process, warning that it would be all but impossible to overcome the pandemic unless at least 70 percent of the eligible population is vaccinated.