Drug-maker Wockhardt has entered into an agreement with the UK government to “fill finish” Covid-19 vaccines.
This process, involving sourcing the bulk ingredient from another company and filling it into the injectable form of the vaccine, will be undertaken at CP Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Wockhardt based in Wrexham, North Wales.
The company has reserved manufacturing capacity to allow for the supply of multiple vaccines to the UK government in its fight against Covid-19, including AZD1222, the vaccine co-invented by the University of Oxford and its spinout company, Vaccitech and licensed by AstraZeneca, the company said.
Habil Khorakiwala, Founder Chairman of Wockhardt, told media-persons that they were in talks with the Indian government as well for similar arrangements at their Aurangabad plant, when a vaccine is available.
“We have had discussions with Professor Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government,” Khorakiwala told BusinessLine on their willingness to have a similar arrangement for vaccines, when it is available in India.
The UK plant will make 30 million doses and can scale up to 400 million doses in a couple of months, if required. Between the India and UK facilities, about a billion doses can be supplied, he said.
The company has not started the “fill finish” process “at risk” and expects to do so once the other companies involved with this vaccine do the same. Khorakiwala did not quantify the deal in financial terms and indicated that depending on the UK government’s requirement it could be expanded to vaccines from other companies as well. Similarly, he said, other global companies too were reaching out to augment supplies through Wockhardt’s manufacturing facilities.