American vaccine development company Novavax has signed an agreement with the Serum Institute of India in Maharashtra’s Pune city for the development and supply of its coronavirus vaccine, Reuters reported on Thursday.

The deal between the two companies was signed on July 30, according to Novavax’s filing in the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Serum Institute will get exclusive rights for the vaccine in India for the entire duration of the agreement and non-exclusive rights in all countries except those in the upper-middle and high-income groups during the “pandemic period”.

On Tuesday, Novavax had said that its vaccine successfully produced antibodies against the coronavirus in an early-stage and small clinical trial. The vaccine, NVX-CoV2373, was shown to produce more antibodies in healthy participants after two doses than people who had recovered from the coronavirus.

Novavax had also expressed the possibility that it could start a crucial phase 3 trial of the vaccine in late-September and produce 1 billion to 2 billion (100 crore to 200 crore) doses of the vaccine by 2021.

Last week, the Serum Institute of India had also received an approval from the Drug Controller General of India to conduct phase two and three human clinical trials of the coronavirus vaccine candidate developed by Oxford University and British-Swedish pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca. The company, which is the world’s largest vaccine maker in terms of the number of doses produced and sold globally, has partnered with AstraZeneca to mass-produce the Oxford vaccine.

Researchers across the world are racing to bring out a coronavirus vaccine for public use as cases continue to rise globally. The coronavirus has infected more than 1.87 crore people globally and claimed 7,06,041 lives. India, the world’s third worst-affected country, has reported 19,64,536 cases and more than 40,000 deaths so far.

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