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Strides Pharma says biotech associate Stelis in talks with global vaccine cos for manufacturing deal

The company declined to name the vaccine developer, but said it is accelerating the vaccine block infrastructure with ability to cater to multiple vaccine types including viral vector, protein subunit, RNA and DNA.

May 27, 2021 / 06:09 PM IST

Strides Pharma said its biotech associate Stelis Biotech is in ongoing discussions to partner with other global vaccine developers for manufacturing services.

The company declined to name the vaccine developer, but said it is accelerating the vaccine block infrastructure with ability to cater to multiple vaccine types including viral vector, protein subunit, RNA and DNA.

Strides has a capacity to produce 500 million doses vaccines.

Sputnik V Vaccine

Stelis Biopharma in March announced that it has partnered with Russia’s sovereign wealth fund RDIF to produce and supply a minimum of 200 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine.

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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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Stelis said it has 24,000 litres of viral vector capacity. Stelis will do both the drug substance and fill and finish.

Strides said it has commenced validation batches of Sputnik V vaccine in late May from its newly commissioned facility in Bengaluru.

The company said it expects the facility to be on track in July in spite of COVID challenges and expect the commercial rollout of the product by October.

As per the contract the company will have to supply these doses in next one year to RDIF. RDIF will take a call on distribution and pricing of the vaccine.

"It 's more of fixed price time contract," said Arun Kumar, Founder & Non - Executive Chairman of Strides.

Kumar said RDIF has a significant back backorder, as the vaccine was approved in 65 countries.

"We believe that the investments will get a fast recovery ," Kumar added.



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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 27, 2021 06:09 pm
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