Shares of Panacea Biotec on Wednesday zoomed 20 per cent after the company said it is setting up a joint venture in Ireland with US-based Refana Inc to develop a vaccine for Covid-19.

Following the announcement, shares of Panacea Biotec advanced 20 per cent to Rs 202.80 -- its upper circuit limit -- on the BSE.

The scrip jumped 20 per cent to Rs 203.70 -- its highest trading permissible limit -- for the day on the NSE.

The company is advancing its response to address the unprecedented challenges of Covid-19 by collaborating with Refana Inc to make a vaccine accessible globally through a joint venture (JV) company to be based in Ireland, Panacea Biotec said in a regulatory filing.

The collaboration aims to bring to patients a whole inactivated virus-based vaccine for Covid-19, it added.

Under the partnership, Panacea Biotec will be responsible for product development and commercial manufacturing, while the JV entity undertaking will handle clinical development and regulatory submissions across the world.