National

64 envoys visit Bharat Biotech, Biological Evans facilities

V Rishi KumarOur Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on December 09, 2020

The envoys of 64 countries visited Bharat Biotech Limited and Biological Evans Limited – both Hyderabad-based premier biopharma companies in the forefront of vaccine manufacture in India today – to review the progress that has been made in the development of a Covid-19 vaccine.

Organised by the Union Ministry of External Affairs, the visit was aimed at familiarising the Ambassadors and High Commissioners about the key research and development activities being taken up by the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently visited the Bharat Biotech facility to personally review the progress made in vaccine development. The high-level contingent was divided into two batches and taken in turns to both facilities. Vinay Kumar, Additional Secretary, MEA; Mahima Datla, MD, Biological E Limited; Krishna Ella, Bharat Biotech CMD; and Sai Prasad, ED, interacted during the meeting.

Telangana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar said “the combined value of the pharma sector in the State is around $50 billion. Hyderabad is the vaccine hub of not only India but the entire world with 33 per cent of the entire vaccine production being done in Hyderabad.”

The visiting delegates interacted with the teams at Bharat Biotech and Biological Evans, and discussed the progress made in the vaccine development.

Project update

The project update on Covaxin was presented to the delegates by Krishna Ella, Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech.

Covaxin is India’s indigenous Covid-19 vaccine of Bharat Biotech, being developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research, National Institute of Virology. This indigenous, inactivated vaccine is developed and manufactured in Bharat Biotech’s BSL-3 (Bio-Safety Level 3) bio-containment facility.

Covaxin has been evaluated in approximately 1,000 subjects in Phase I and Phase II clinical trials, with promising safety and immunogenicity results.

The Phase III human clinical trials of Covaxin began in November, involving 26,000 volunteers across India. This is India’s first and only Phase III efficacy study for a Covid-19 vaccine, and the largest phase III efficacy trial ever conducted for any vaccine in India.

Suchitra Ella, Joint Managing Director of Bharat Biotech, said: “The development and clinical evaluation of Covaxin marks a significant milestone for novel vaccinology in India. It has garnered interest from several countries worldwide for supplies and introduction.”

Bharat Biotech has more than 140 global patents and a product portfolio of more than 16 vaccines, 4 bio-therapeutics, registrations in more than 116 countries, and WHO pre-qualifications.

Located in Genome Valley, it has delivered more than 4 billion doses of vaccines worldwide. It has developed vaccines for influenza H1N1, rotavirus, Japanese Encephalitis, rabies, chikungunya, zika, and the world’s first tetanus-toxoid conjugated vaccine for typhoid.

Founded in 1953, Biological ELimited develops, manufactures and supplies vaccines and therapeutics. Its vaccines are supplied to over 100 countries, and its therapeutic products are sold in India and the US. BE currently has 8 WHO-prequalified vaccines in its portfolio. It is working in several vaccine candidates.

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Published on December 09, 2020
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