Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital announce licensing agreement for COVID-19 vaccine in South Africa

Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital are collaborating with an immunotherapy company to bring COVID-19 vaccines to South Africa. (Courtesy Pexels)
Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital are collaborating with an immunotherapy company to bring COVID-19 vaccines to South Africa. (Courtesy Pexels)

Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital are collaborating with an immunotherapy company to bring COVID-19 vaccines to South Africa. (Courtesy Pexels)

Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital have announced a licensing agreement with clinical-stage immunotherapy company ImmunityBio, Inc. for a safe, effective and affordable COVID-19 vaccine deployable in South Africa.

Baylor has licensed a recombinant protein COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed at the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development to ImmunityBio, which will leverage its biotechnology experience by further developing and commercializing the vaccine candidate, which is produced using a proven yeast-based expression technology, in South Africa, according to a Nov. 23 news release.

“We hope that our COVID-19 vaccine for global health might become an important step towards advancing vaccine development capacity in South Africa, and ultimately for all of Sub-Saharan Africa,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, professor and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor and co-director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, in the news release.

The license negotiations with the BCM Ventures team, part of Baylor College of Medicine, came after discussions about the COVID-19 protein-based technology and how it could address pandemic needs in South Africa, according to the release.

“To address COVID-19, our vaccine center relies on conventional platforms suitable for rapid transfer manufacturers across many low- and middle-income countries,” said Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi, associate dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor and co-director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development in the news release. “Therefore, our team of scientists is eager and ready to collaborate with ImmunityBio and enable our technology to be transferred to manufacturers in South Africa.”


This isn’t the first time the vaccine team at Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development has licensed the protein-based vaccine candidate. In August 2020, the team licensed the vaccine candidate with India-based biopharmaceutical company Biological E. Limited for use across the globe, including in India.
By Hunter Marrow
Hunter Marrow came to Community Impact Newspaper in January 2020. Before that, Hunter covered local news in Ontario, OR for three years, covering municipal issues, crime, and education across Malheur County and across the border into Idaho.