Companies

All geared up to start making vaccine immediately: BIBCOL

Rutam Vora Ahmedabad | Updated on April 19, 2021

Under Mission Covid Suraksha, the government roped in other vaccine makers to accelerate production of indigenous Covid-19 vaccines   -  Getty Images/iStockphoto

Company has huge spare capacity at its existing oral polio vaccine plant

Government-owned polio vaccine maker, Bharat Immunologicals & Biologicals Corporation Limited (BIBCOL) is geared up to manufacture India’s indigenous Covid-19 vaccine with its existing spare capacity. Senior company officials informed that once cleared from the Centre, BIBCOL can start production “immediately.”

Speaking to Businessline, SK Lal, Company Secretary, BIBCOL informed that the company has the capabilities to manufacture Covid-19 vaccine as per the government directives. “We won’t need major changes to our existing infrastructure. The plant is operational and makes oral polio vaccine. As a standard practice, we have some machineries and other materials in stand-by. Currently, we are having orders for 250 million doses of polio vaccine as against the installed capacity of 600 million doses per year. So, there is sufficient spare capacity to manufacture Covid-19 vaccine comfortably.”

Set-up in 1989 to supply polio vaccines for the country, BIBCOL’s oral polio vaccine facility is spread across 60 acres at Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh. Besides oral polio vaccine, it also makes Zinc Dispersible Tablets & Diarrhea Management Kits.

‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’

Under Mission Covid Suraksha, the government roped in other vaccine makers to accelerate production of indigenous Covid-19 vaccines.

Besides Bharat Biotech, three other public sector manufactures are being upgraded with required infrastructure and technology to make COVAXIN including BIBCOL. These companies will be supported to make 10-15 million dozes per month by August - September 2021.

BSE-listed BIBCOL has promoter shareholding at 59.25 per cent with the Central government holding majority share through President of India, while public shareholding is at 40.75 per cent including non-institutional investors such as individuals, NBFCs, Bodies Corporate, NRIs, clearing members.

Though, the company has reported net loss for the fiscal ending March 2020, company’s stocks had been under close watch of the investors, mainly following the buzz of BIBCOL getting a role in Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing. What left the investors curious is the one-side rally in the stock soon after the pandemic struck early last year, gaining 754 per cent from ₹10.45 on April 20, 2020 to ₹85.85 on February 9, 2021.

Market watchers attributed this upper-circuit rally - almost daily for over 10 months – to the anticipation of the investors of BIBCOL getting an order from the government to make vaccine for Covid-19. But investors started losing interest in the stock after mid-February when the daily caseload hit a bottom. The company stocks started hitting lower-circuit almost daily for over two months to touch a low of ₹37.40 on April 15, wiping off over 56 per cent from the peak. But the Friday’s announcement revived investors’ sentiment yet again putting the stock back on upper-circuit. BIBCOL shares ended at ₹39.65 on BSE Monday.

The company had informed the stock exchange that “the government of India has decided to support three PSUs including Bharat Immunologicals and Biologicals Corporation Limited (BIBCOL) to extend the financial support for production of Covid Vaccine.”

Published on April 19, 2021

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