Pharmacy News

Haffkine inks MoU with Bharat Biotech to produce Covaxin, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Mumbai: With Parel-based Haffkine Bio-Pharmaceutical Corporation Ltd signing the memorandum of understanding with Hyderabad’s Bharat Biotech to manufacture Covaxin last week, state officials said they are hopeful of rolling out the first batches of the Covid-19 vaccine in eight to 10 months.

Saurabh Vijay, secretary, medical education and drugs department said the MOU will pave the way for technology transfer and several other steps in the vaccine manufacturing process. The science and technology ministry had said last week that things have been set in motion for technology transfer that will allow Haffkine Biopharma to produce 22.8 crore doses of Covaxin in a year.

“We are hoping to start production in eight months. Priority will be to build the biosafety level-III facility in Parel,” Vijay said, adding that Haffkine was also seeking the help of IIT-Bombay, TIFR and ICT in Matunga to build a strong technical team.

Haffkine has been given a grant of Rs 65 crore by the Centre and Rs 94 crore by the state for Covaxin production. Vijay said teams would travel to Hyderabad to get trained, while experts from Hyderabad and the department of biotechnology will also handhold the institute.

Haffkine BioPharmaceutical is an offshoot of the 122-year-old Haffkine Institute, one of the oldest biomedical research institutes in the country. The Centre has said the current production capacity of indigenously developed Covaxin vaccine will be increased nearly six-fold by July-August 2021.

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