The Serum Institute has taken on a vital role as the largest company licensed to manufacture the Oxford University-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine.
The company also has a deal with U.S.-based Novavax for their experimental COVID-19 vaccine but has not yet begun making it.
Post-licensing, it'll still take two months before large volumes rollout, says Adar Poonawalla, CEO of the Serum Institute of India, the world's largest manufacturer of vaccines.
The Serum Institute has taken on a vital role as the largest company licensed to manufacture the Oxford University-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine. It is increasing its production capacity by the end of 2021 to over 2.5 billion doses a year to cope with future disease outbreaks, Poonawalla said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.
So far, the company has made 50 million doses of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine. It plans to make up to 100 million doses each month, starting next year, Poonawalla said.
The company also has a deal with U.S.-based Novavax for their experimental COVID-19 vaccine but has not yet begun making it. India has indicated that it wants 300 million doses by July. After that, the Serum Institute will be distributing vaccines to the world.
Poonawalla's company now has an annual capacity of 1.5 billion doses. That is more than the billion doses that China, home to the most vaccine makers in the world, says it manufactures in a year.
The coronavirus pandemic is a wake-up call for governments to invest more in health care, he added.
Looking beyond the pandemic, he said he anticipates more diseases jumping from animal to human hosts, driving huge demand for vaccines, so the extra capacity is likely to be useful in coming decades.
I think (the demand) is going to keep growing even more exponentially, compared to the last five or ten years, Poonawalla said Wednesday.
Loss of forests and human incursions into wild habitats create more opportunities for such pathogens to make the jump. That was true of COVID-19 and other illnesses such as SARS, MERS and HIV-AIDS.
Existing research indicates that India, with its high population density and biodiverse forests, is among the most likely places for the emergence of such new diseases.
For now, the Serum Institute is focused on the coronavirus. It has committed to supplying the Oxford University-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to developing nations through COVAX, an ambitious global initiative to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to countries worldwide.
Most of the vaccines that will be manufactured in the coming year have been reserved by richer nations, so Serum Institute's role will be pivotal, said Anna Marriott, a health policy adviser at Oxfam UK. Where else might the vaccine supply come from? she asked.
In April, before it was known whether any vaccine could work against the coronavirus, Serum bet on several vaccine candidates and invested in building its capacity.
Like many Indian companies, it is family-run, founded in 1966 by Poonawalla's father and its current chairman, Cyrus Poonawalla, and so had leeway to take that kind of risk.
The younger Poonawalla said the company faced a moral dilemma over waiting to be sure a vaccine might succeed and risking millions of lives.
But the pandemic has highlighted the power of vaccines since they generally are affordable and can help prevent expensive hospitalization, he said. Its a cheap and good solution to health care.
Countries spend too little on health care infrastructure, mistakenly viewing it as less important for the economy and political optics than investing in defense or space programs that highlight their growing might. That is particularly true, Poonawalla said, of developing nations like India, Whether it's hospitals, drug discovery (or) vaccines.
The pandemic should lead to greater support for research and health systems, I hope at least, he added
Source - CNBC-TV 18
Adar Poonawalla awarded 'Business Leader of the Year' 2023 by the International Advertising Association (IAA) India Chapter
Cyrus Poonawalla Group appoints Keki Mistry as Strategic Advisor to all the Financial Services Ventures led by Adar Poonawalla
R21/Matrix-M™ malaria vaccine developed by University of Oxford receives regulatory clearance for use in Ghana
Department of Biotechnology announces the scientific completion of India's first qHPV vaccine ‘CERVAVAC’
Adar Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute of India, receives the award for the Outstanding Business Leader of the Year
Novavax and Serum Institute of India Receive Emergency Use Authorization for COVID-19 Vaccine in the Philippines
Novavax and Serum Institute of India Receive Emergency Use Authorization for COVID-19 Vaccine in Indonesia
Serum Institute Of India sends out Covishield vaccine - Consignment of Covishield Vaccine arrived in Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong, Ahmedabad, Hydrabad, Vijayawada, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Bengaluru, Lucknow, Chandigarh
Serum Institute of India launches India’s first fully indigenously developed pneumococcal vaccine, 'PNEUMOSIL'
Oxford COVID-19 vaccine: Serum Institute likely to submit final Covishield trial data within 10 days
SII’s Adar Poonawalla on Covid vaccine, pricing and rollout at Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2020
COVISHIELD Completes Enrolment of Phase III clinical trials under partnership of ICMR and Serum Institute of India
Government Secures Vaccine Supplies For Half Of The Indian Population From Serum Institute And Novavax
IAVI, Merck, and Serum Institute of India Join Forces to Develop Monoclonal Antibodies for COVID-19 and Ensure Prompt and Equitable Global Access
Serum Institute Of India Takes A Multipronged Approach In Quest To Produce World’s First Covid-19 Vaccines
Serum Institute of India to produce up to an additional 100 million covid 19 vaccine doses for india and low and midle income countries in 2021
Adar Poonawalla CEO of Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, explains the timing, challenges & cost of vaccinating the world against COVID-19
Serum Institute looking for a $1 billion shot to fight covid, talks on with Blackstone, KKR and others
Serum Institute of India Says Covid Vaccine Likely to Be Ready by End of 2020, Final Pricing in 2 Months
Serum institute of india to produce up to 100 million covid-19 vaccine doses for india and low-and middle-income countries as early as 2021
50% of our Covid vaccines will be for India, people won't have to buy them, govts will pay: Adar Poonawalla
AstraZeneca vaccine's success in early human trials, Will Begin AstraZeneca Vaccine Trial in India After Applying for Licence Next Week, Says Serum Institute
Serum Institute of India CEO: ‘We plan to make millions of doses of Covid vaccine over three months’:’
New supply agreement between UNICEF and Serum Institute of India makes pneumococcal conjugate vaccine available at US$2.00 per dose, a 43 % reduction from the Gavi price at the start of the Advance Market Commitment
Serum Institute confident of manufacturing Covid vaccine’s 100 million doses if trials establish efficacy
Serum Institute’s Journey To Success | ET NOW Covid-19 vaccine possible by Q2 of 2022: Adar Poonawalla
Adar Poonawalla discusses Serum Institute's progress in the global battle against COVID-19 with Shereen Bhan, CNBC-TV18
Adar Poonawalla talks with Aabha Bakaya about the success story of Serum Institute of India. Tune in to know all about the journey of the company.
Bill Gates confers Indian Council of Medical Research "Lifetime Achievement Medal" on Dr. Cyrus Poonawalla
Dr. Cyrus Poonawalla conferred with 'Lifetime Achievement Award’ by the Asian Business Leadership Forum
Dr. Cyrus Poonawalla conferred with the prestigious honorary degree by the University of Oxford, U.K.