Zydus ropes in Shilpa Medicare to make ZyCoV-D vaccine substance

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on September 24, 2021

Zydus Cadila lab   -  SUPPLIED PIC

Zydus will transfer the ZyCoV-D technology to Shilpa Medicare arm, Shilpa Biologicals Private Limited

Covid-19 vaccine maker Zydus Cadila has entered into a definitive agreement with Shilpa Biologicals Private Limited (SBPL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shilpa Medicare, for production and supply of the ZyCoV-D vaccine drug substance from its integrated biologics R&D-cum-manufacturing centre at Dharwad, Karnataka.

Earlier, Shilpa Medicare had signed a deal with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories to make 5 crore doses of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V at the same location.

“The targeted production of the ZyCoV-D vaccine from this facility will be mutually agreed upon by both parties,” a statement said. Zydus will transfer the ZyCoV-D technology to SBPL.

Under the agreement, SBPL will be responsible for manufacture of the drug substance of the vaccine, while Zydus is responsible for filling, packaging, distribution, marketing of the vaccine in its territories.

SBPL’s facility at Dharwad would cater to the requirements of the fast-growing biologics that include the DNA vaccine, adenoviral, subunit vaccines, monoclonal antibodies and fusion proteins.

Also read: With vaccines for kids on the way, Govt progressing on several fronts

Zydus has already started production of ZyCoV-D at its DNA vaccine plant at Ahmedabad with initial capacity of 10 million doses per month. However, in order to ramp-up the production, the company was already in talks with contract manufacturers.

Zydus is also looking at exploring production outside India by technology transfer. The DNA Plasmid platform requires easy manufacturing capacity using minimal bio safety requirements, which is BSL class-I. This will help new partners to go into production in a span of two-four months depending on capacities.

ZyCoV-D is the first DNA plasmid vaccine in the world for human use, developed indigenously by the company against the Covid-19 virus.

Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) had allowed the emergency use of ZyCoV-D for adolescents in the 12-18 age group, besides the adult population. The needle-free vaccine is administered using the PharmaJet, a needle-free applicator, which ensures painless intradermal vaccine delivery.

Also read: Make schools a centre for kids to get Covid jab: Experts

For Shipla Medicare, the biologics business has been identified as a strategic growth engine and the company has made significant investments in setting up a high-end, flexible biologics facility in SBPL.

After the announcements, shares of the two players traded negative. Shilpa Medicare Limited traded at ₹558, down 2.46 per cent and Cadila Healthcare traded down by 0.4 per cent at ₹564.60 on BSE Friday.

Published on September 24, 2021

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