Serum Institute To Produce Up To 100 Million Doses Of Covid-19 Vaccine
A magnified coronavirus germ illustration sits beside laboratory glassware during Covid-19 vaccine research work inside the Pasteur Institute laboratories in Lille, France. (Photographer: Adrienne Surprenant/Bloomberg)

Serum Institute To Produce Up To 100 Million Doses Of Covid-19 Vaccine

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Serum Institute of India has formed a new partnership with Gavi and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate manufacturing and delivery of up to 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines for India and other low and middle-income countries.

"The collaboration will provide upfront capital to Serum Institure to help them increase manufacturing capacity now so that once a vaccine gains regulatory approval and WHO prequalification, doses can be produced at scale for distribution by as early as the first half of 2021,” the Pune-based drugmaker said on Friday.

Serum Institute has set a price ceiling of $3 (around Rs 225) per dose, it added.

The funding will support at-risk manufacturing by Serum Institute for potental vaccine candidates from AstraZeneca Plc and Novavax, which will be available for procurement if they are successful in attaining full licensure and WHO prequalification.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, via its Strategic Investment Fund, will provide at-risk funding of $150 million to Gavi, which will be used to support Serum Institute to manufacture the potential vaccine candidates and for future procurement of vaccines for low- and middle-income countries via Gavi's COVAX Advance Market Commitment.

"We are very happy to see Serum Institute enter this global partnership to respond to the global health crisis posed by Covid-19," Renu Swarup, secretary in the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, said. India has a proven track record of making safe and cost-effective vaccines not only for India but for the world, she added.

Indian Council of Medical Research's Director General Balram Bhargava said, "ICMR is deeply supportive of our cutting edge vaccine research and manufacturing prowess, of which Serum Institute is one prominent example. This partnership signifies yet another step in India's efforts to bolster the fight against this global pandemic.”

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