Bharat Biotech, a leading Indian multinational biotech entity, is looking for overseas manufacturing partners to accelerate the production of its coronavirus vaccine ‘Covaxin’ to a billion doses each year.
Covaxin is one of the five vaccines that have received approval for emergency use in India and is one of the two shots supporting the country’s regional vaccination drive.
However, Bharat Biotech has struggled to expand its output, missing supply commitments to the Government of India, which is greatly dependent on a version of the AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India and Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine offerings.
Recently, the Hyderabad-headquartered biotechnology major launched the first batch of Covaxin jabs from its unit in Ankleshwar situated in western India which carries the capacity to manufacture over 10 million doses each month.
As per a statement by Bharat Biotech, the company is exploring opportunities with its international alliances who carry expertise in commercial-scale production of inactivated viral vaccines.
According to Krishna Ella, Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech, the company is focusing on enhancing its ability to meet the growing demand for Covaxin from across the globe.
To fulfill the demand, Bharat Biotech has established multiple manufacturing lines in its Hyderabad, Pune, Malur and Bengaluru facilities.
In July’21, India’s Union Health Minister- Mr. Mansukh Mandaviya announced in the parliament that Bharat Biotech will supply close to 25 million doses in July 2021 and 35 million shots in August 2021, less than half of what was expected by the government initially.
According to a report furnished by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India has administered more than 63 crore vaccine doses to date.
It is also worth noting that Bharat Biotech has submitted its safety data to the Drugs Controller General of India based on phase 2/3 clinical study for producing vaccines for children aged between 2 to 18. The proposed vaccine candidate is expected to be launched in October 2021.