HYDERABAD: In a move that will boost the production capacity of indigenously developed Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin, Indian Immunologicals Ltd (IIL) on Friday handed over the first batch of Covaxin drug substance produced at its Karakapatla facility in Genome Valley to Bharat Biotech.
The doses were handed over by IIL managing director Dr K Anand Kumar to Bharat Biotech chairman and managing director Dr Krishna Ella at IIL’s Genome Valley facility.
According to sources, the drug substance (critical component of any vaccine) for about 1 million doses was handed over on Friday.
“We will start supplying drug substance for 3-4 million doses of Covaxin per month from the repurposed facility and ramp up supplies to 10 million doses per month by December 2021 once the new dedicated facility for Covaxin becomes operational at Genome Valley,” Dr Anand Kumar said.
IIL and Bharat Biotech inked four agreements for Covaxin in April 2021 after which IIL repurposed its BSL-2+ anti-rabies vaccines facility at Karakapatla to make Covaxin in record time and production commenced in July 2021. “The batches produced at IIL’s manufacturing facility have been tested at BBIL and IIL and meets the quality specification. The yields are more than expected,” he said.
Calling the alliance a victory for ‘Team India’, the IIL MD said the company’s team worked tirelessly, round-the-clock to meet the committed timelines and product quality. “It is a proud moment for IIL to have played a vital role in supporting our nation’s interest during this unprecedented time,” he added.
DBT secretary and BIRAC chairperson Dr Renu Swarup termed the loan license agreement by CDSCO for IIL to produce Covaxin drug substance as a major milestone that was achieved in a very short span of time. IIL was sanctioned a grant of Rs 60 crore for enhancing production capabilities as part of Mission Covid Suraksha.