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Bharat Biotech Looks for International Manufacturing Partners for Covaxin

Bharat Biotech wishes to partner with international manufacturers

Wednesday, 1st September 2021

Indian vaccine manufacturer Bharat Biotech is scouting for manufacturing partners overseas in order to ramp up production as it aims at churning out one billion doses of its Coronavirus vaccine every year.

The company’s home-grown Covid-19 vaccine, COVAXIN had been approved for emergency use in India and is one of the two vaccines that is responsible for the pushing forward the country’s mammoth vaccination drive.

However, Bharat Biotech has been grappling with meeting demands and supply commitments to the government of India as they have not been able to amplify output. The Centre has thus been falling back on other suppliers for the requisite shots, like AstraZeneca (AZN.L) vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India and Russia's Sputnik V vaccine.

The firm on Sunday brought out their first batch of COVAXIN shots from a facility that has been set up at Ankleshwar in Gujarat which has the capacity to produce more than 10 million doses per month.

According to Bharat Biotech, it was looking for opportunities with its international partners who have expertise in commercial-scale manufacturing of inactivated viral vaccines.

The company’s chairman and managing director Krishna Ella said in a statement, “We want to ensure that Bharat Biotech can ably meet the demand for COVAXIN such that individuals across the country, and the globe, have access to the vaccine.”

It has been so far confirmed that Bharat Biotech has already joined hands with Ocugen for Covaxin in the US market and is in parleys with other global pharmaceutical giants for manufacturing the Indian vaccine. Dialogues have been initiated with some drug makers in Europe along with a French heavyweight, who have the necessary capacity and expertise in vaccine manufacturing.

The company had earlier said during an announcement of capacity scale up to 700 million doses per year, “Manufacturing partnerships are being explored with our partners in other countries, who have prior expertise with commercial scale manufacture of inactivated viral vaccines under biosafety containment.”

Earlier, in August, the Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had stated in the Parliament that the Hyderabad-based company would supply 25 million doses in July and 35 million in August. This is less that fifty per cent of what the government had anticipated initially.

The News Talkie Bureau



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