New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) Production of the Sputnik V vaccine against coronavirus will begin in India this summer, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and pharmaceutical company Panacea Biotec announced on Monday.Sputnik V was registered in India under the emergency use authorisation procedure on April 12 and vaccination against coronavirus with the Russian vaccine started on May 14. As announced in April, RDIF and Panacea have agreed to produce 100 million doses per year of Sputnik V."The first batch produced at Panacea Biotec's facilities at Baddi will be shipped to the Gamaleya Centre [in Russia] for quality control. Full-scale production of the vaccine is due to start this summer. Company's facilities comply with GMP [good manufacturing practice] standards and are prequalified by WHO," RDIF said in a statement."Launch of production in India in partnership with Panacea Biotec marks an important step for helping the country fight the pandemic. Production of Sputnik V supports efforts of India's authorities to leave behind the acute phase of coronavirus as soon as possible while the vaccines will also be exported at a later stage to help prevent the spread of the virus in other countries around the world," said Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, in the statement."This marks a significant step as we initiate production of Sputnik V. Together with RDIF, we hope to help bring a sense of normalcy back to people across the country and around the world," added Rajesh Jain, Managing Director, Panacea Biotec.Sputnik V uses two different vectors for the two shots in a course of vaccination, providing immunity with a longer duration than vaccines using the same delivery mechanism for both shots.It is developed by Russia's Gamaleya National Center. It will be the third vaccine to be cleared for the immunisation programme in India after Covaxin and Covishield.Last month, regulator Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) granted restricted use authorisation to Sputnik V amid an alarming rise in the country's fresh Covid-19 infections.With an efficacy of 91.6 per cent, Sputnik V is reportedly the first vaccine against Covid-19 in the world. On August 11 last year, Russia gave approval to the Sputnik V. It is reported in the Lancet Medical Journal that the vaccine has been cleared and approved for mass use in more than 50 countries.The RDIF has signed a deal to produce 750 million doses of Sputnik V in India. The price of Sputnik V is less than $10 per shot, making it affordable around the world.The first consignment of 150,000 doses had arrived in Hyderabad on May 1 and the second consignment of 60,000 doses arrived on May 16.--IANSrvt/ash
Washington/Seoul, May 23 (IANS) Samsung Biologics, a South Korean biopharmaceutical firm, has signed a deal to manufacture Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine at its local factory.Under the agreement, the biotech unit of Samsung Group will provide the U.S. drugmaker with contract manufacturing organization (CMO) services for its mRNA vaccine. It means that some of the Moderna vaccine would be produced in South Korea.The two sides signed the contract on Saturday during a South Korea-U.S. vaccine partnership event held in Washington, DC, with President Moon Jae-in attendance, reports Yonhap news agency.Also present were John Rim, CEO of Samsung Biologics, and his Moderna counterpart Stephane Bancel, along with Stanley Erck, CEO of Novavax, another American vaccine production company.The deal is expected to contribute to the stable and speedy supply of the Moderna vaccine in South Korea, according to Moon's office, Cheong Wa Dae.Moon pledged his government's full support for the vaccine developers and manufacturers, citing the nation's goal of emerging as a "global vaccine production hub."Moon pointed out that he and U.S. President Joe Biden agreed to establish a comprehensive global vaccine partnership between the allies during their summit talks the previous day.The president described it as a "vaccine alliance" to help combine the original technologies of the U.S. and the drug production capability of South Korea.AstraZeneca, Novavax and Sputnik V vaccines are already being manufactured in the country.Moderna also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with South Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Ministry of Health and Welfare.Under the MOU, Moderna agreed to strive for investments in the mRNA vaccine production facility and hiring of manpower in South Korea. The ministries plan to offer support for Moderna's investment and business activities.South Korea's National Institute of Health also signed an MOU with Moderna on strengthening cooperation on research into infectious diseases.--IANSna/
Hyderabad, May 20 (IANS) Bharat Biotech on Thursday announced the quick ramp up of additional manufacturing capacities for Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin by an additional 200 million.The manufacturing capacities for India's first indigenous Covid vaccine have been ramped up at Chiron Behring Vaccines, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bharat Biotech at Ankleshwar, Gujarat.The company plans to produce 200 million doses of Covaxin per annum in the GMP facilities that are already operational for the production of vaccines based on Inactivated Vero Cell Platform Technology, under stringent levels of GMP and biosafety, Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech said in a statement.The product availability at Ankleshwar is expected to commence from fourth quarter of 2021.Bharat Biotech had already deployed multiple production lines at its Hyderabad and Bengaluru campuses, adding Chiron Behring to this line-up of high-containment BSL rated GMP facilities that are required to manufacture Covaxin.This effectively takes the volumes up to about one billion doses per annum, with its own established campuses specialised for manufacturing inactivated viral vaccines under the highest levels of biosafety, the vaccine maker added.--IANSms/vd
Chennai, May 19 (IANS) Oxygen production at Vedanta Ltd's copper smelter plant or Sterlite Copper located in Thoothukudi was restarted on Wednesday, said a company official.According to Vedanta, the disruption in the oxygen plant has been rectified, and has now resumed production."The oxygen generated is being stored at our onsite facilities and will be distributed as per the directions of the State government and concerned nodal officers," the company said.Oxygen production at Sterlite Copper was hit due to technical snag in the cold box on May 14.An expert team from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) visited Sterlite Copper and suggested measures to set right the technical snag that halted oxygen production.Subsequently oxygen production was re-started.According to the company official, Sterlite Copper has 1,050 tpd oxygen production capacity of which 200 tpd will be liquid oxygen and the balance is in gaseous form.The existing infrastructure has the potential to transport 200-250 tpd medical oxygen to various hospitals.To utilise the balance capacity of the unit for the medical usage, Vedanta is looking for business partners to study and provide a solution to transport 800 tpd oxygen which is available in gaseous form at 4.5 bar pressure to various hospitals in the state.Vedanta had started oxygen production at Sterlite Copper recently to supply to hospitals to meet the needs due to the spread of Covid-19 pandemic across the country.The Tamil Nadu government had ordered the closure of the copper smelter plant in 2018 following a violent protest that led to the death of 13 persons in police firing.The Supreme Court had allowed the company to operate its oxygen plant recently.The 400,000 tonne Sterlite copper smelter plant has been operating in Thoothukudi for over 25 years with a cumulative investment of about Rs 3,000 crore but was closed after the violence and opposition by locals.--IANSvj/skp/
New Delhi, May 17 (IANS) All seven domestic licensed manufacturers of Remdesivir have scaled up production from 38 lakh vials per month to nearly 119 lakh vials per month, following government directives, an official statement said.With accelerated approval of 38 additional manufacturing sites, the number of approved manufacturing sites of Remdesivir in the country has increased from 22 to 60. With the help of the Ministry of External Affairs, the manufacturers are being facilitated for getting supplies of requisite raw materials and equipment from foreign countries.Meanwhile, Department of Pharmaceuticals intensified monitoring of availability, production and supply of drugs used for Covid-19 treatment in early April, as number of cases of Covid-19 started increasing steeply.Remdesivir is a patented drug, manufactured in India under voluntary licenses granted by patent holder Gilead Life Sciences US to seven Indian pharmaceutical companies --Cipla, Dr Reddy's Lab, Hetero, Jubilant Pharma, Mylan, Syngene and Zydus Cadila.According to the statement, all efforts are being made to enhance the availability of the drug, both through imports as well as augmented domestic production. Exports of Remdesiver has been prohibited since April 11, while customs duty has been exempted on Remdesivir injection, Remdesivir API and Beta Cyclodextrin (SBEBCD) used in its manufacture with effect from April 20.After the demand surged, the Central government has been making allocations to states and UTs since third week of April. Interim allocation of 11 lakh vials was made for 19 states and UTs with high demand on April 21 for period up to April 30. This allocation was increased to 16 lakh vials on April 24 as more supplies became available. In a series of allocations issued subsequently, with latest on May 16, 76 lakh vials in total have been allocated among states for period up to May 23.The state governments and UT administrations have been asked to monitor proper distribution within their jurisdiction, covering both government as well as private hospitals, and in line with judicious use as advised in the "National Clinical Guidance for Management of Adult Covid-19 patients", issued jointly by the AIIMS/ICMR Covid-19 National Task Force and Joint Monitoring Group of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.All the seven Indian manufacturers have been making supplies to states as per the allocation both against government purchase orders and also through their private distribution channels in states. A total of 54.15 lakh vials of Remdesivir have been supplied across the country by the drug companies during April 21-May 15, the statement said.--IANSmiz/vd
Chennai, May 15 (IANS) An expert team from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Saturday visited Vedanta Ltd's copper smelter plant Sterlite Copper and suggested measures to set right the technical snag that halted oxygen production, the company said.Oxygen production at Sterlite Copper located in Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu was stopped on Friday due to a technical snag.According to Vedanta, an expert team from ISRO came to the smelter plant to support the ongoing efforts and collaborate with the company's technical team."They have suggested some measures to help rectify the production snag. This has helped fastrack the repair process for which we are thankful to the local administration, who was instrumental in facilitating this cooperative effort to recommence our oxygen production," Vedanta said.On Friday the company said a technical snag had developed in the cold box in the oxygen plant, leading to a temporary pause in production."The possibility of minor technical fluctuations was anticipated given that the plant has been unattended for three years," the company said in a statement.On Thursday the company said one of its oxygen plants commenced production from May 12."The first tanker carrying 4.8 tons of liquid oxygen is going to Tirunelveli/Thoothukudi. We will be dispatching two oxygen tankers on a daily basis to begin with, and gradually scale this up as we expand production," Vedanta had said.Vedanta had earlier said it has about 1,050 ton oxygen plant at Sterlite Copper and it is committed to make the entire capacity available for producing medical grade oxygen.The company had approached the Supreme Court to allow it to protect and maintain its important assets in the smelter plant and permit it to produce 1,050 tonnes of oxygen and supply freely to nearby hospitals and to other states.The Tamil Nadu government had ordered the closure of the copper smelter plant in 2018 following a violent protest that led to the death of 13 persons in police firing.The 400,000 ton Sterlite copper smelter plant that has been operating in Thoothukudi for over 25 years with a cumulative investment of about Rs 3,000 crore.--IANSvj/ash
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