Zydus Cadila to Produce 5 Cr COVID Vaccine Doses by Year-End; Announce Partnerships Soon

Zydus Cadila on Friday said that the company plans to make five crore doses of its COVID-19 vaccine by the end of this year. At present, its COVID-19 vaccine candidate is in the phase III clinical trial in India, according to the drug manufacturer. Zydus Cadila was the second Indian company to receive an approval to start vaccine trial in the country.

Dubbed as ZyCoV-D, it will be first Made-in-India DNA vaccine candidate against coronavirus. The drugmaker will submit the trial results to the regulator by the end of this month. “We are still on track for May-end submission to the regulator once we see event data that we are expecting this month which will talk about the efficacy of the drug as the safety is already well-established,” Sharvil Patel, managing director (MD) of Zydus Group told CNBC TV18.

“Then, we will file for an emergency use authorisation and post that we have to go through the formalities of approvals, testing, getting the plant audited, getting the Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) testing done and then launch the product in the market,” Patel said.

“We believe that by the end of this year we can make around five crore doses and looking to further scale it up, if possible, during the next six months,” he further added.

We have invested in a new facility that will be commissioned by June. That facility will be up and ready soon and will be producing additional doses, Zydus group MD said.

To ramp up the production, we are also looking for partners. So that we can transfer our technology and they can manufacture additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines. We are hoping to announce a couple of partnerships in the next few week,” Patel said.

One needs to understand that you can not re-purpose any vaccine. Every platform is different. So finding manufacturing partners who can produce similar vaccines like you do, is a difficult process, he further explained.

India’s first ingenuously made DNA vaccine against COVID

Developed at Zydus’ Vaccine Technology Centre in Ahmedabad, ZyCoV-D found to be safe and immunogenic during trials. With its ZyCoV-D, Zydus Cadila has successfully established the DNA vaccine platform in India using non-replicating and a non-integrating plasmid carrying the gene of interest making it very safe, the vaccine maker said.

The platform provides ease of manufacturing the vaccine with minimal bio-safety requirements, Zydus added. It is also known to show much-improved vaccine stability and lower cold chain requirements making it easy for transportation to remotest parts of the country, the drugmaker said. “Furthermore, the platform can be rapidly used to modify the vaccine in a couple of weeks in case the virus mutates to ensure that the vaccine still elicits protection,” it added.

India will have enough coronavirus vaccine doses to inoculate all citizens by December, VK Paul, the head of the national task force on COVID-19 vaccines said on Thursday. “Overall, 216 crore doses of vaccines will be manufactured in India between August and December, for India and for Indians. There should be no doubt that vaccines will be available for all as we move forward,” Paul said.

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