Serum to invest whopping Rs 2k crore in new vaccine facility

Pune-based Serum Institute of India has started building a new manufacturing plant to supply adult vaccines to developed countries and increase annual capacity by 500 million doses.

Representational image.

New Delhi: A brand new adult vaccine manufacturing facility worth Rs 2,000 crore of the Serum Institute will be soon established at the new biotech SEZ (special economic zone) in Pune. The new campus which is just a few kilometers drive from the company’s Hadapsar headquarters, will be utilized to make high quality products for supply to the developed markets in Europe and US. Serum which is world leader in pediatric vaccines and other products supplied to the developing world, is now bullish on the lucrative markets of the developed world.

As per news reports quoting the Mr Adar Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute, the new manufacturing facility will go on stream in 2018. With this capacity addition, Serum Institute will increase in manufacturing numbers from 1.3 billion to about 1.8 billion doses of various vaccines annually.  The company aslo plans to supply a few high tech vaccines to the European and US market, starting with DTaP vaccine. This is an acellular pertussis vaccine containing purified antigenic components of B Pertussis viz Pertussis  Toxoid (PT), Filamentous Haemogglutinin ( FHA), Pertacin.

This DTaP vaccine is currently undergoing tests at the National Institute of Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC), UK, a world leader in characterization, standardization and control of biological medicines.  NIBSC plays a major role in assuring quality of biological medicines globally through the provision of biological reference materials by testing a product and carrying out research.

NIBSC tests will provide a stamp of highest quality to Serum’s vaccines as it enters top global markets which have stringent standards for medical products. Serum will also introduce other products such as recombinant versions of BCG vaccine and an onco version of it to handle cancer in the bladder. Another likely product is the meningococcus group of vaccines.

It is interesting to know that less than 10 per cent of Serum’s products are procured for use by Indian government. Currently more than 85 per cent of Serum’s annual revenues of Rs 4,000 crore comes from vaccine exports to developing countries. These vaccines are procured in bulk by the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and philanthropy organizations for global immunization programs.