Mahima Datla: The Hyderabad woman behind India’s upcoming COVID-19 vaccine Corbevax

The Government of India has placed an order to procure 30 crore doses of Corbevax. It is said to be India’s cheapest COVID-19 vaccine.

Mahima Datla: The Hyderabad woman behind India’s upcoming COVID-19 vaccine Corbevax
Mahima Datla has played a major role in Biological E company's growth as a vaccine producer. (PC:ANI)

Biological E, a Hyderabad-based company, is manufacturing a new COVID-19 vaccine called Corbevax. The Government of India has placed an advanced order for 30 crore doses of the Corbevax vaccine. Mahima Datla, Managing Director and CEO of Vaccines and Branded Formulations has played a major role in the company’s growth as a vaccine producer.

Who is Mahima Datla?

Mahima Datla is a Business Administration graduate from UK’s Webster University. She hesitantly joined the family business claiming it would look good on her resume. Datla has been part of Biological E for the past 20 years and currently, she is the Managing Director of the company. The 43-year-old during an interview to a leading daily said she had never planned to join the company. She said her motivation to join the pharma giant was the company’s aim of supplying life-saving vaccines and medicines to rural and poor parts of the country. Her father, the late Vijay Kumar Datla was the chairman and Managing Director of Biological E. The pharma company was started by her grandfathers in 1948. When Mahima joined the company, vaccines were contributing only 10% to the company’s revenue. Now, vaccines are contributing 80% of the company’s revenue. The company supplied Hepatitis B vaccines to the Government of India after the Centre decided to vaccinate people under the universal Immunization program for Hepatitis B.

Mahima Datla has played a leading role in developing the Corbevax vaccine. She was also part of the development of other vaccines and treatments.

How does the Corbevax vaccine work?

Corbevax vaccine is made of spiked protein of the SARS-CoV 2 virus. The spike protein of the virus interacts with cells in the human body and generates an immune response. Corbevax is not harmful to the human body as it contains only the protein, not the virus.

The vaccine showed promising results during the phase 1 and phase 2 trials. The Central Drugs Standard Control Organization has given permission for the phase 3 trials following intensive research since November 2020.