After Covid-19 vaccine deal with China, Bangladesh firm now inks pact with India’s SII

Serum Institute of India deal with Banglashesh’ Beximco comes at a time when Bangladesh has 310,822 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and the toll from the viral disease has surpassed 4,200, according to worldometer.
In this handout photo released by the University of Oxford blood samples from coronavirus vaccine trials are handled inside the Jenner Institute in Oxford, England on June 25, 2020.(AP File Photo)
In this handout photo released by the University of Oxford blood samples from coronavirus vaccine trials are handled inside the Jenner Institute in Oxford, England on June 25, 2020.(AP File Photo)
Updated on Aug 30, 2020 06:00 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com | Edited by Kanishka Sarkar

A pharmaceutical company in Bangladesh has sealed a deal with the Serum Institute of India (SII) to get priority access to the Covid-19 vaccines being developed by the world’s largest drug manufacturer.

Pune-based Serum Institute, in association with AstraZeneca, the Gates Foundation and the Gavi vaccine alliance, will be producing a billion doses of a Covid-19 vaccine to supply to the world. The Oxford vaccine candidate, one of the three being developed by the drug manufacturer, is already in Phase III trial in Maharashtra and some other states.

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The deal comes days after Bangladesh also approved a late-stage trial of a potential coronavirus vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd in a bid to become a priority recipient of the shot.

Beximco Pharmaceuticals’ plan to invest in SII was announced on Friday after Dhaka said earlier this month said that it was ready to hold trials of candidate vaccines being developed by India as both countries seek to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease.

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“This landmark agreement reflects the deep-rooted desire for collaboration between the two countries and as representatives of the two nations, between us we can go a long way towards helping to mitigate the health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the heads of both companies said in the statement.

The details about the amount of investment and number of doses to be supplied, however, have not been revealed yet.

Beximco’s investment amount will be treated as an advance and once the vaccine receives regulatory approvals, SII will include Bangladesh among the countries which will receive an agreed quantity of the vaccine on a priority basis, according to the statement.

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Beximco would be the exclusive supplier in Bangladesh for the vaccine, the statement added. The pharma firm will also secure additional doses to be distributed to the private pay market in the country.

SII’s deal with Beximco comes at a time when Bangladesh has 310,822 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and the toll from the viral disease has surpassed 4,200, according to worldometer.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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