Hester Biosciences in discussions with Bharat Biotech for tech transfer of Covaxin

"A triparty consortium has been formed with the Government of Gujarat as the lead partner, to explore the prospects of manufacturing the Covid vaccine through technology from Bharat Biotech," Hester Biosciences said in a statement.

May 16, 2021 / 09:55 AM IST
Bharat Biotech's Covaxin was granted restricted emegency use approval in 'clinical trial mode' on January 2.

Bharat Biotech's Covaxin was granted restricted emegency use approval in 'clinical trial mode' on January 2.

 
 
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Hester Biosciences said the discussions with Bharat Biotech for technology transfer to produce Covaxin is underway.

"A triparty consortium has been formed with the Government of Gujarat as the lead partner, to explore the prospects of manufacturing the Covid vaccine through technology from Bharat Biotech," Hester said in a statement.

"The discussions are currently on-going with Bharat Biotech towards reviewing the infrastructure at Hester, the technology adoption process and the regulatory compliance. Based on the outcome of the review, the next course of action will be determined," the statement added.

Ahmedabad-based Hester is into animal and poultry vaccines.

The Hindu BusinessLine, on May 15, reported that Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre, Hester Biosciences, and OmniBRx Biotechnologies firmed up discussions with Bharat Biotech which would help them produce an additional 20 million doses per month.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Bharat Biotech has already signed agreements with three public sector undertakings such as Hyderabad-based Indian Immunologicals Ltd, Mumbai-based Haffkine Biopharmaceuticals, and Bharat Immunologicals and Biologicals Limited (BIBCOL), a DBT facility at Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh. Bharat Biotech has stated that it will be adding 700 million doses per annum of Covaxin capacity by the end of 2021.
Viswanath Pilla is a business journalist with 14 years of reporting experience. Based in Mumbai, Pilla covers pharma, healthcare and infrastructure sectors for Moneycontrol.
first published: May 16, 2021 09:39 am

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