Mumbai: Haffkine now plans lab to scale up vax production

State-owned Haffkine Bio-Pharmaceutical Corp Ltd has sought permission from Union government to set up a BSL-3 laboratory on its campus for production of Covaxin.

State-owned Haffkine Bio-Pharmaceutical Corp Ltd has sought permission from Union government to set up a BSL-3 laboratory on its campus for production of Covaxin. The pharma company sought permission from ICMR in the first week of March. under ‘Mission Covid Suraksha’ for the vaccine’s manufacture. The Union government on Tuesday scaled up vaccination by allowing all above 45 to participate. State health officials said it was time production of vaccines was scaled up.

Permission was sought for transfer of technology from Bharat Biotech, which has developed Covaxin. The Mumbai-based institute wants Rs 154 crore from state and Rs 87 crore from Union government to set up the laboratory.

The programme will be executed in two phases: The first will involve fill-and-finish operations, which can commence by taking the vaccine in bulk from Bharat Biotech. In phase II, Haffkine will start manufacturing doses by taking technology from the pharma company, which will take one-and-a-half years.

Sanjay Rathod, MD of Haffkine Bio Pharmaceuticals, said preliminary talks with Bharat Biotech were held late last week. “If the company supplies raw materials, we have committed to produce 12.6 crore doses of the vaccine annually and scale it up to 22.8 crore once the laboratory is in place,” he told TOI. Nisha Nambiar

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