Home Business Bharat Biotech, Serum Institute arm Bilthoven Biologicals to collaborate for oral polio vaccine 

Bharat Biotech, Serum Institute arm Bilthoven Biologicals to collaborate for oral polio vaccine 

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Bharat Biotech, Serum Institute arm Bilthoven Biologicals to collaborate for oral polio vaccine 

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Image used for representation purpose only. Fie

Vaccine makers Bharat Biotech and the Netherlands-based subsidiary of Serum Institute of India Bilthoven Biologicals B.V. (Bbio) have signed an agreement to produce and supply oral polio vaccines (OPVs) made in India with drug substances sourced from the Dutch firm.

The Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech will procure drug substances manufactured in the Netherlands at Bbio for the vaccines. They will jointly obtain regulatory approvals and licences required to commercially manufacture OPVs in India for domestic as well as global markets, the two companies said in a release on April 2.

Their collaboration is to strengthen the production and supply security of OPVs and support the efforts to create a polio-free world, they said, announcing signing of a requisite agreement.

“Our vision is to eradicate polio worldwide… delighted to join forces with Bharat Biotech to reinforce the global supply of polio vaccines,” Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla said.

Bharat Biotech is one of the largest manufacturers of oral vaccines globally with an capacity to produce 500 million doses a year. Biopolio, the company’s existing OPV and a WHO pre-qualified vaccine, will remain as eradication of polio is a global initiative and important for India’s future. The company will ensure uninterrupted supply of polio vaccines, a spokesperson said.

“Oral polio vaccines have been an integral part of the government of India’s universal immunisation programme for decades, with Bharat Biotech being one of the largest suppliers to immunisation programmes across the world. The [latest] collaboration exemplifies cooperation between vaccine companies, ensuring a secure supply of oral polio vaccines and fortifies the nation’s mission to eradicate polio,” Executive Chairman Krishna Ella said in the release.

Bilthoven Biologicals was the first international acquisition of Serum Institute of India. When the bioengineering and pharmaceutical company was acquired from the Netherlands government in June 2012, it ensured access to technology and expertise for making the IPV (Injectable Polio Vaccine, Salk), earlier possessed by only three other vaccine manufacturers, for the Pune-based vaccine maker. Bilthoven Biologicals is spread over 40 acres with an installed manufacturing capacity of over 20 million doses of vaccines annually.

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