India’s Next Covid-19 Vaccine May Come From Mumbai’s Wockhardt

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The pharmaceutical and biotechnology company Wockhardt will begin Covid-19 vaccine production in October 2021 and will be able to manufacture 50 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses a year, says the Chairman of Wockhardt, Dr Habil Khorakiwala.

Mumbai-based pharmaceutical firm Wockhardt is said to be in the “advanced stages of talks” for a deal involving Covid-19 medicines and vaccine.

According to reports, an official announcement on the front may come in the next two to three weeks.

This news comes only a day after the Union Health Ministry finalised plans with another vaccine maker Biological-E in Hyderabad, to reserve 3 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses in exchange for a Rs 1,500 crore advance payment.

Wockhardt said: “The Company is in the process of negotiating manufacturing options for Covid -19 vaccine with global vaccine developers as part of its normal pharmaceutical business”.

It also added that since such agreements necessitate technological assessments, currently, the Indian pharmaceutical company is doing the same.

According to Wockhardt, it is also worth noting that such technical/commercial assessments are intended to address the global healthcare crisis caused by Covid-19 as well as the human race’s greatest interests.

“Since the relevant agreements are not yet fully finalised, the same has not been informed to the Stock exchanges,” the company said.

The Chairman of Wockhardt, Dr Habil Khorakiwala, told NDTV that the vaccine production will begin in October 2021 and the company will be able to manufacture 50 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses a year.

When he was asked about the commercialisation of the vaccine, Khorakiwala said: “Our arrangement is as a contract manufacturer with the principal innovator... we will be supplying it to them and they will introduce it to India”.

However, the price of this vaccine is yet to be disclosed.

According to reports, Wockhardt is also in talks with unnamed research-driven companies who are in the early phases of creating next-generation “multi-variant” Covid-19 vaccines, including easier-to-administer nasal dosages.

Wockhardt reportedly presented a proposal to the Indian government last week to make 200 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses each year, with 50 crore doses expected to be available by February 2022.

Apart from this company, Ahmedabad-based pharmaceutical firm Zydus Cadila is currently working on a DNA-based Covid-19 vaccine.

It has completed 80 per cent recruitment for trials in children aged between 12 and 18.

We gave already finished 70-80 per cent of recruitment, which means we have already covered 800-1,000 children, who are already a part of the trial,” said Dr Sharvi Patel, the managing director of the company.

The company has developed the indigenous DNA vaccine with support from the Centre’s National Biopharma Mission.

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