World’s largest vaccine manufacturer, Cyrus Poonawalla’s Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) has declared to start production prior the vaccine has cleared and reached clinical trials. Once the vaccine is developed, it would be offered at a cost of around one thousand Indian rupees.
Company’s CEO Adar Poonawalla said “Our facility is already equipped to make this COVID-19 vaccine and we have dedicated the same towards developing the vaccine. Our Pune’s manufacturing facility has an investment of about Rs 500-600 crore that we have already done for one of the other vaccines in the past. In addition, building a brand-new facility for COVID-19 vaccine will take approximately 2-3 years. As mentioned, one of our existing units will commence production in approximately three weeks. We aim to manufacture 4-5 million doses per month”
Serum group is presently developing the recombinant BCG vaccine shots to enhance the ability to fight the virus and minimize the severity of COVID-19. The company is backed by DBT (Department of Biotechnology) and will be initiating the trials in India in a time span of 2 weeks. These shots are safe can be given to newborn babies as well.
After the successful trial in India at initial stage, the group will make the vaccine available in various countries. In India, till now there are over 31,000 coronavirus positive patients and more than 7,000 are recovered and around 1,000 fatalities are reported.
Serum Institute has previously collaborated with the Oxford for a malaria vaccine and they were primarily to develop a vaccine against the Ebola virus. Serum group has also associated with the US-based biotechnology firm Codagenix, to develop a vaccine-virus strain.