Bharat Biotech to produce 700 million COVAXIN doses per year
To support vaccination campaigns in India and across the globe, Bharat Biotech has ramped up the manufacturing capacity of its COVID-19 vaccine, COVAXIN, to 700 million doses per annum, the vaccine maker said on Tuesday. Manufacturing scale-up has been carried out in a stepwise manner across multiple facilities at Hyderabad and Bengaluru, the company said in a statement.
Company looking at 'inactivated vaccine' technology to fight virus
Inactivated vaccines, while highly safe, are extremely complex and expensive to manufacture, resulting in lower yields when compared to live virus vaccines. The company is able to expand COVAXIN manufacturing capacity in a short timeline, mainly due to the availability of new specially designed BSL-3 facilities that have been re-purposed and know how to manufacture, test, and release highly purified inactivated viral vaccines.
Bharat Biotech has partnered with Indian Immunologicals
Manufacturing partnerships are being explored with partners in other countries, who have prior expertise with commercial-scale manufacture of inactivated viral vaccines under biosafety containment. The Hyderabad-based firm said it has partnered with Indian Immunologicals (IIL) to manufacture the drug substance for COVAXIN. IIL has the capabilities and expertise to manufacture inactivated viral vaccines at a commercial scale and under biosafety containment.
First instance of novel adjuvant being commercialized in India
BSL-3 facilities use a proprietary adjuvant Algel-IMDG, which has proven to be a safe and effective adjuvant, especially to stimulate memory T-cell responses. The synthesis and manufacture of the IMDG component have been successfully indigenized and will be manufactured at a commercial scale within the country. "This is the first instance where a novel adjuvant has been commercialized in India," Bharat Biotech said.
COVAXIN approved for emergency use in many countries
COVAXIN has received Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) for COVID-19 treatment in India. EUA's have now been obtained from Mexico, the Philippines, Iran, Paraguay, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Guyana, Venezuela, Botswana, Zimbabwe, among other countries. Besides, EUA's are in process in the US and several European countries. Pricing for international markets and supplies to governments under EUA's have been established between $15-20 per dose.