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Ocugen Stock Up on Development Pact for Covid Vaccine Candidate

Ocugen entered a development and supply agreement with Bharat Biotech tied to Ocugen's Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

Shares of Ocugen  (OCGN) - Get Ocugen Inc Report jumped after the drugmaker said it entered a development-and-supply agreement with Bharat Biotech tied to Ocugen's Covid-19 vaccine candidate. 

In a Securities and Exchange Commission 8K filing, Ocugen said Bharat will supply it with clinical-trial materials and, if the drug is cleared by regulators, commercial supplies of finished drug product and drug components. 

Shares of Ocugen, Malvern, Pa., at last check were 7% higher at $7.22. Bharat is the Hyderabad, India, biotechnology company.

Ocugen also said in the SEC filing that it entered an amended accord with development partner CanSino Biologics. The agreement is tied to Ocugen's gene-therapy candidate, OCU410, to treat dry age-related macular degeneration. 

Under the amended accord, the companies will collaborate to develop OCU410. CanSino, the Tianjin, China, vaccine producer, will be responsible for the chemistry, manufacturing and controls of the clinical supplies.

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There have been major developments in the fight against Covid-19 in recent days.

-- AstraZeneca is seeking emergency-use approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a Covid prevention drug.

-- Merck MRK has developed a pill to treat the disease.

-- BioNTech BNTX said that a new vaccine will probably be needed by next year.

Current Covid mutations aren’t different enough from the original to blunt the effectiveness of the vaccines already in use, BioNTech Chief Executive Ugur Sahin said. Booster shots can do the trick for that. But more resistant variants will emerge. “This virus will stay, and the virus will further adapt,” he said.

“We have no reason to assume that the next generation virus will be easier to handle for the immune system than the existing generation. This is a continuous evolution, and that evolution has just started.”