October 20, 2021

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Indian Immunologicals Limited to produce 10 million doses of Covaxin drug substance from December

Currently IIL makes 3 million doses of Covaxin drug substance at its repurposed factory on outskirts of Hyderabad.

A file image of Covaxin.

A file image of Covaxin.

Public sector vaccine maker Indian Immunologicals Ltd (IIL) said it will produce 3 million doses worth of Covaxin a month currently, and from December plans to increase it to 10 million doses.

IIL – which comes under the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) has already supplied 2 million doses of the drug substance to Bharat Biotech for formulate into finished dose. The drug substance produced by IIL has already been formulated into vaccines by Bharat Biotech and is ready for use, IIL said.

IIL has repurposed its newly built manufacturing facility at Karakapatla on the outskirts of Hyderabad to produce the drug substance of Covaxin. This facility was meant to produce the Rabies vaccine and other human biologicals. IIL is the largest producer of the Rabies vaccine in the country.

“IIL has quickly responded to the nation’s call and the request of the Central Government, to partner with Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) in April 2021 to produce a Covaxin drug substance. Due to IIL’s prior experience in producing different types of viral vaccines for human and veterinary use, in a short period of time could upgrade the existing facility and execute technology transfer, manufacturing, testing, and release of drug substances at lightning speed,” the company said.

Parshottam Rupala, Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying on Friday visited IIL site producing Covaxin drug substance, and said he will extend all possible cooperation to IIL for its future endeavors.

Chairman of IIL and NDDB, Meenesh Shah said, “it is satisfying that IIL has lived up to the trust placed by the government and in record time has been able to deliver the Covid-19 vaccine drug substance.”

Speaking on this occasion, Dr. K Anand Kumar, Managing Director, IIL said, “IIL is also developing on a live attenuated Covid 19 vaccine which has many advantages and will be rolled out next year. The animal studies have been completed and the results are very encouraging. Human trials are also expected to start soon.”

“It was essential that both competing organizations come together and support each other to a larger cause of national health. If the Indian companies don’t join hands, then the multinationals will take over the industry,” said Dr. Krishna Ella, CMD of Bharat Biotech.

Viswanath Pilla is a business journalist with 14 years of reporting experience. Based in Mumbai, Pilla covers pharma, healthcare and infrastructure sectors for Moneycontrol.

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