In a bid to augment vaccine production, the government has decided to support some public sector companies with grants under the Mission Covid Suraksha. One such company is the Hyderabad-based Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL), a facility under the PSU, National Dairy Development Board.
A technical collaboration agreement has been reached between IIL and Bharat Biotech, for IIL to supply of the drug substance required for manufacturing Covaxin vaccine to Bharat Biotech. The Managing Director of IIL, Dr K Anand Kumar said that the company is planning to start the production of drug substance for Covaxin from next month, June 15, and send out the first batch to Bharat Biotech Limited by July.
Stating that IIL is expected to produce the drug substance for about 10-15 million doses per month, Dr Anand Kumar said it will be initially 2-3 million doses and will be scaled up to 6-7 million per month later in the year.
Dr Kumar shared that they are converting the Karkapatla manufacturing unit of IIL near Hyderabad into a Bio Safety Level-3 (BSL3) facility for the production of the drug substance and is also taking up construction of another block. The IIL is also working on another Covid-19 vaccine and the animal trials are underway currently and is expected to come out by next year for human vaccination.
Under Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0 Mission COVID Suraksha was announced by the Government of India, to accelerate the development and production of Indigenous Covid vaccines. This is being implemented by Department of Biotechnology. IIL, Hyderabad has been sanctioned a grant of Rs 60 crore towards enhancing production capabilities.