Hyderabad, Aug 13 (IANS) Indian Immunologicals Ltd (IIL), a subsidiary of the National Dairy Development Board and a leading vaccine manufacturer, on Friday handed over the first batch of Covaxin drug substance to Bharat Biotech.
The IIL said it has produced the drug substance in record time.
IIL Managing Director, Dr K. Anand Kumar, handed over the first lot of Covaxin drug substance to BBIL Chairman and Managing Director, Dr Krishna Ella.
"It is a proud moment for IIL to have played a vital role in supporting our nation's interest during this unprecedented time. This would have not been possible without the constant support provided by Niti-Aayog, BIRAC, DBT, Mission Covid Suraksha Team, Central and State drug control authorities," Anand Kumar said.
"The government has worked relentlessly to provide all possible support for ramping up Covaxin production in the country and speed up the Covaxin inoculation drive. The loan license agreement by the CDSCO for Indian Immunologicals Ltd to produce Covaxin drug substance is a major milestone, achieved in a very short span of time. The DBT-BIRAC support under Mission Covid Suraksha aims to meet the Covid-19 vaccine requirement of our country. I congratulate the team for the efforts put in for this achievement," Secretary, Biotechnology, and BIRAC Chairperson, Dr Renu Swarup, said.
In order to augment the Covid-19 vaccine production capacity in the country, the Central government in April requested that the IIL and Bharat Biotech International Ltd (BBIL) join hands.
The IIL, in a short period of time, has performed several activities including signing of 4 agreements with BBIL, repurposing its manufacturing facility in Hyderabad, procurement of key raw materials and consumables, procurement of key equipment for the process, technology transfer, trials at R&D scale, training etc. These activities were all done at breakneck speed and production at commenced in 2021.
The batches so produced at IIL's manufacturing facility have been tested both at the BBIL and the IIL and meets the quality specifications for the drug substance. The yields are more than expected, the IIL said in a statement.
Dr Anand Kumar also said that IIL is also working on another Covid-19 vaccine and the animal trials are underway currently. It is expected to come out by next year for human vaccination.
Under Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0 Mission Covid Suraksha was announced by the Centre to accelerate the development and production of indigenous Covid vaccines. This is being implemented by the Department of Biotechnology.
The IIL, Hyderabad, has been sanctioned a grant of Rs 60 crore towards enhancing production capabilities