IIL partners with Bharat Biotech to produce drug substance for Covaxin from mid-June

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Dr K Anand Kumar, Managing Director of Indian Immunologicals, Hyderabad (Photo/ANI)
Dr K Anand Kumar, Managing Director of Indian Immunologicals, Hyderabad (Photo/ANI)

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], May 28 (ANI): Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL) has partnered with Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech to manufacture drug substance for 'Covaxin' to ramp up the production of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The IIL, a PSU under the National Dairy Development Board, Ministry of Animal Husbandry at Hyderabad has been chosen under Mission COVID Suraksha to augment vaccine substance production in the country.

Speaking to ANI, the Managing Director of Indian Immunologicals, Dr K Anand Kumar said that the preparations for the manufacturing process have been started and the company has already conducted some successful trials.

"Amidst this COVID crisis, India has only a few vaccine manufacturing units. But considering the population of India, the country needs several millions of doses of vaccine to be produced. To ramp up the COVID vaccination production in the country, we have partnered with Bharat Biotech with a Technology Collaboration Agreement," he said.

"As a part of this agreement, we at IIL will be manufacturing the Covaxin Drug Substance for Bharat Biotech at one of our manufacturing facilities here in Hyderabad. And, the preparations for the manufacturing process have been started and we have already taken some trials and they have been successful," added Dr Kumar.

He mentioned that the production of the drug substance will begin from June 15 and Bharat Biotech is expecting the first batch by the end of July.

Dr Kumar informed that the capacity per month at this manufacturing unit would be about 2 to 3 million doses. He mentioned that a new plant is also being established at the same manufacturing unit.

Anand further said that IIL itself is developing a vaccine that has completed its animal trials and will be able to start human trials from August 2021.

"For manufacturing COVID-19 drug substance, the existing Rabies antigen manufacturing block of IIL at Karkapatla will be modified. Test license has been obtained from Central and State licensing authorities for manufacturing BBV152, (which is now being known as Covaxin) Drug Substance for Bharat Biotech," the IIL Managing Director said.

"The PSU has experience in manufacturing products, Anti-rabies vaccine (ARV), Pentavalent Vaccine, Hepatitis-B, DPT and Tetanus Toxoid vaccines. IIL has been a major supplier of pediatric vaccines to the Government of India's Universal Immunization program," he added. (ANI)