Home » Serum Institute to start production of Covid-19 vaccine within two to three weeks

Serum Institute to start production of Covid-19 vaccine within two to three weeks

by Raju Vernekar
0 comment 3 minutes read

IT Correspondent
Mumbai: April 28

The Pune based Serum Institute of India Private Limited (SIPL) has stated that it is planning to start production of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University in the next two to three weeks and hopefully bring it in market by October if the human clinical trials are successful.
SIPL has partnered with Oxford University as one of the seven global institutions manufacturing the vaccine. Scientists at the University of Oxford have already promised to make available one million doses of the super fast vaccine by September. As per the WHO’s report of 11 April, over 70 vaccine candidates are in various stages of trial and UK has already started human trials with SIPL as partner.
“Our team has been working closely with Oxford professor Dr Adrian Hill and we are expecting to initiate production of the vaccine in 2-3 weeks and produce 5 million doses per month for the first 6 months, following which, we hope to scale up production to 10 million doses per month,” SIPL chief executive Adar Poonawalla said.
SIPL had collaborated with scientists at Oxford University for a malaria vaccine project in the past and can say with certainty that they are some of the best scientists, Poonawalla said and added that “We expect the COVID-19 vaccine to be out in the market by September-October, if the trials are successful with the requisite safety and assured efficacy”.
SIPL will be manufacturing the vaccine in anticipation of clinical trials succeeding by September-October in the UK, Poonawalla said and added that following that, SIPL would initiate manufacturing at own risk. The decision has been taken to have a jump-start on manufacturing, to enough doses could be made available, if the clinical trials prove successful. We plan to initiate the trials in India for the vaccine with necessary regulatory approvals, which are at present underway.
“In keeping with current situation, we have funded this endeavour at a personal capacity and hopefully will be able to enlist the support of other partners to further scale-up the vaccine production,” Poonawalla said. The vaccines will be manufactured at the company’s facility in Pune. Building a new facility for Covid-19 vaccine would have taken around 2-3 years. The Indian regulatory authorities are working with the company to ensure smooth procedural functioning. “We are in touch with the Department of Biotechnology and ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research),” Poonawalla said.
“We will not patent Serum’s vaccine for Covid-19 and will make it available for all to produce and sell, not just in India but across the world. Whosoever makes and develops the vaccine will need multiple partners to manufacture the vaccine, he said and added that “I hope that whichever company develops the vaccine does not get it patented and makes it available based on royalties or a commercial understanding to as many manufacturers across the world to make billions of dosages at a fast pace”.

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