Serum Institute ties up with Bill Gates Foundation, Gavi to speed up Covid-19 vaccine manufacture process
Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) has entered into a new partnership with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to speed up the process of manufacture and delivery of up to 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines for India and other third world countries, SII said in a statement.
“I would like to thank @BillGates, @gatesfoundation and @GaviSeth for this key partnership of risk sharing and manufacturing of a 100 million doses, which will also ensure equitable access at an affordable price to many countries around the world,” Adar Poonawalla, CEO and Owner, Serum Institute of India tweeted on Friday.
The country’s drug regulator—the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had earlier granted permission to the Serum Institute to conduct phase 2 and 3 human clinical trials on the potential vaccine for the viral infection.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, via its Strategic Investment Fund, will provide at-risk funding of USD 150 million to Gavi, which will then be utilized to support the Serum Institute to manufacture the potential vaccine candidate. The potential Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by SII is likely to be made available to at least 92 countries.
“The funding will support at-risk manufacturing by SII for candidate vaccines from AstraZeneca and Novavax, which will be available for procurement if they are successful in attaining full licensure and WHO prequalification,” the SII statement said.
On Thursday evening, India’s Covid-19 count crossed the 20-lakh mark and recorded the highest single-day spike of 62,538 cases on Friday, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare data showed.
The country’s infection tally has now climbed to 20,27,075 including 6,07,384 active cases and 13,78,106 patients who have been cured and discharged. India has so far reported 41,585 deaths due to the viral infection, according to the Health Ministry.