In a major development, Haffkine Pharmaceuticals Corporation and Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech will jointly produce COVID-19 drug COVAXIN with the establishment of a new plant on the Parel premises in south central Mumbai at a cost of Rs 154 crore.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who on Saturday visited the Haffkine, said it can commence the vaccine production after technology transfer under the guidance of the ICMR from Parel and Pimpri facilities or it can work on fill and finish basis.
Free Press Journal reported two days ago that the state government has taken up the issue with the Centre to allow Haffkine to start production.
Under the fill and finish method, 1.26 crore vaccines can be supplied. Under this formula, Bharat Biotech will supply vaccines which will be filled up and packaged for supply by the Haffkine Bio Pharma Corp.
Haffkine can produce 130 crore vaccines between April 1, 2021 and March 2022. Thackeray assured the state government’s assistance to Haffkine in COVID -19 vaccine production.
“For early availability of COVID vaccine, work should be started keeping in view the availability of the Haffkine’s production facilities at Paral and Pimpri. The production and supply of COVID vaccines should be increased along with the annual production capacity of the Haffkine’s polio vaccine production,” said Thackeray.
At present, preliminary talks should be held with vaccine manufacturers other than Bharat Biotech. Thackeray said. He added that the Haffkine should seek the help of the Central Government to set up its own 'Biomedical Research Center' in the near future.