@Corbevax

A new coronavirus vaccine heading to India was developed by a small team in Texas. It expects nothing in return.

The ambition is to create a low-cost, open-source alternative to expensive and limited-supply mRNA vaccines for developing and under-vaccinated countries.

For some vaccine developers, the coronavirus pandemic has had a silver lining in billions of dollars in profits. But a new vaccine rolling out soon in India is taking the opposite approach: Its developers are getting zilch, the Washington Post reports.

“We’re not trying to make money,” said Peter Hotez of the Texas Children’s Hospital’s Center for Vaccine Development. “We just want to see people get vaccinated.”

On Tuesday, the Indian government granted emergency approval to a vaccine manufactured by the Hyderabad-based company Biological E. This “second generation” coronavirus vaccine was developed by Hotez and his longtime collaborator Maria Elena Bottazzi. It was then licensed to Biological E. through a commercialization team at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where both developers also work.

Biological E. has ambitious plans to produce more than 1 billion doses of the vaccine in 2022. Hotez and Bottazzi won’t personally get a penny from it, but their employer Baylor College will get a fee.

Unlike the vaccines of big-name manufacturers such as Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, the Texas Children’s Hospital vaccine, which is called Corbevax, is being shared patent-free. The Texas Children’s Hospital team is also working with manufacturers like Biological E. to ensure they have the know-how to make doses.

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