COVID-19 vaccine: Health Ministry finalises arrangements with Hyderabad firm for 30 crore doses

These vaccine doses would be manufactured and stockpiled by Biological-E from August-December 2021, the Ministry said in a statement.

The Health Ministry has finalised arrangements with Hyderabad-based vaccine manufacturer Biological-E to reserve 30 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Also read: India can expect around 1.3 billion doses of vaccines, says epidemiologist Chandrakant Lahariya

In a statement issued on Thursday, it said that these vaccine doses would be manufactured and stockpiled by Biological-E from August-December 2021.

For this purpose, the Ministry of Health would be making an advance payment of ₹1,500 crore.

The vaccine of Biological-E was currently undergoing Phase-3 clinical trial after it showed promising results in Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials. The RBD protein sub-unit vaccine is likely to be available in the next few months.

“The proposal of M/s Biological-E was examined and recommended for approval after due diligence by National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC),” the Ministry said.

It added that the arrangement with the manufacturer is part of the wider endeavour of the government to encourage indigenous vaccine makers by providing them support in Research & Development and also financial support.

The vaccine candidate has been supported by the government from preclinical stage to phase-3 studies. The Department of Biotechnology has not only provided financial assistance in terms of grant-in-aid of over ₹100 crore but has also partnered with Biological-E to conduct all animal challenge and assay studies through its Research Institute, Translational Health Science Technology Institute, Faridabad.

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