As per a recent media interaction, Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India (SII) – the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines by volume – has shared that his biotechnology firm, in partnership with an Oxford University-led consortium, should be able to deliver a vaccine for COVID-19 by the end of the year. As the Oxford team is further ahead with human trials and in the near future (Phase 2/3), will move to testing on thousands of people, SII expects to be ready to manufacture the vaccine by September, 2020.
SII plans to supply the vaccine to the government (at just Rs. 1,000), which will be distributed for free by the Center, in key and priority areas under the Ayushman Bharat scheme.
Adar also shared plans of setting up a new factory in Pune, at an investment of Rs. 600 cr, which would be functional within a couple of years, with a potential capacity of producing around 500 million to a billion doses. Their existing facilities include a research and development facility, and a plant that makes pneumonia vaccines.