Mumbai: Haffkine Biopharma to produce 22.8 cr Covaxin doses annually

Bharat Biotech to share technology with Haffkine to ramp up production at company’s Parel complex

Sanjay JogUpdated: Thursday, June 03, 2021, 01:46 AM IST
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The Department of Biotechnology, in a bid to accelerate vaccine production, has extended its support to Haffkine Biopharmaceutical Corporation Ltd, Mumbai, Indian Immunologicals Ltd, Hyderabad and Bharat Immunologicals & Biologicals Ltd, Bulandshahar, UP. Haffkine BioPharma MD Sandeep Rathod said the company proposes to produce 22.8 crore doses of Covaxin in a year.

The state-run Haffkine Biopharma is getting ready to manufacture Covaxin vaccine under technology transfer arrangement with Bharat Biotech Ltd, Hyderabad. The production will take place at the Parel complex of the company.

“For undertaking production of Covaxin, Haffkine Biopharma has been provided with Rs 65 crore grant by the Centre and Rs 94 crore from the Government of Maharashtra,’’ said Rathod.

“We have been given a timeline of eight months and the work is being executed on a war footing. The vaccine production process involves two stages – drug substance and final drug product. For production of drug substances we need to build a Bio Safety Level 3 (BSL 3) facility, while Haffkine already has the Fill Finish facility” noted Rathod, the doctor turned IAS officer. He explained that BSL 3 is a safety standard applicable to such facilities where work involves microbes which can cause serious disease via inhalation route.

FPJ broke the story in March after the state government in its communication to the Centre had said that Haffkine Biopharma can produce 22 crore vaccines and can work on a fill-and-finish basis to dispatch 16 crore vaccines annually.

Enhancing vaccine production capacity using Public sector assets will go a long way in building production capacity of vaccines in our country to support the massive vaccination drive,” said Dr Renu Swarup, Secretary Department of Biotechnology and Chairperson BIRAC (Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council).

The vaccine produced by Haffkine Biopharma will be used for long term and at an affordable price, said Rathod.

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