Close on the heels of the Centre clearing the Rs 594- crore Integrated Vaccine Com-plex (IVC) in Tamil Nadu, HLL Lifecare Ltd, a mini-Ratna PSU, has floated a wholly-owned subsidiary — HLL Biotech Ltd — to execute the project that aims to boost the country’s vaccine security.
The first phase of IVC, which would come up at Chengalpattu in Tamil Nadu’s Kan-chipuram district, will be completed within 36 months. With an annual capacity of 585 million doses, it will manufacture pentavalent combination (DPT plus Hep B plus Hib), BCG, measles, Hepatitis B, Human Rabies, Hib and Japanese Encephali-tis (JE) vaccines in the first phase.
“The total project cost of IVC is Rs. 594 crore, of which Rs. 28 crore has already been released. We have also started on-site preliminary works at the 100 acre area. Project office has started functioning with sufficient staff including the project officer,’’ HLL chairman and managing director M Ayyappan said.
In the first phase, IVC will have capacity to produce 100 million doses each of pen-tavalent, measles, Hib, and BCG vaccines. It will also have capacity for 140 million doses of Hep B, 20 million doses of human rabies and 25 million doses of JE vac-cines.
The state-of-the-art WHO-pre-qualified facility, the first of its kind in the public sec-tor, will also have capacity to manufacture futuristic Meningococcal, rotaviral, den-gue and pneumococcal vaccines in its multi-bacterial and multi-viral facilities to meet any epidemic or pandemic situations, Ayyappan pointed out.
IVC also seeks to develop a strong R&D base, apart from manufacturing and supply-ing 75 per cent of the vaccines required for the UIP.
“We are determined to meet the deadline set by the Union Government as it signi-fies a huge recognition for the HLL, which has successfully diversified into several areas from being the leading contraceptive manufacturer in the country. It shows the government has reposed its faith in us again,’’ he said.
The Thiruvananthapuram-based HLL, formerly Hindustan Latex Ltd, is the market leader in contraceptives with 70 per cent share and ranks amongst the top manufac-turers globally. It has diversified into various areas, including project consultancy and healthcare products, legitimising its credentials for the vaccine complex.
HLL has already completed revamping of the public sector vaccine manufacturing unit, Central Research Institute (CRI), at Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh.
The Central Government has also entrusted HLL with the task of revamping Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) Vaccine Laboratory, Guindy, and Pasteur Institute of India (PII), Coonoor, both in Tamil Nadu, and allotted Rs 213 crore for the purpose.
HLL, which has set a target of becoming a Rs 10,000-crore company by 2020, also runs hospital chains, diagnostic clinics, and hospital management as well as MRI centres across India as part of a total healthcare public sector undertaking.