Biological E’s new vaccine campus inaugurated

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Vaccination

Dr Rajashekar Reddy, chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, India presided over the inauguration ceremony for Biological E’s new INR3bn ($61m) vaccine and biopharmaceuticals manufacturing campus.

The 75 acre site, which is located just outside Hyderabad, is being developed in partnership with the Indian government to make products for both the domestic and international markets, including Europe and the US.

Hyderabased-headquartered vaccine maker Biological E, which will run the facility to produce a range of vaccines and biologics for diseases including tetanus, Hepatitis B (HBV), Haemophilus influenza Type B (Hib), and a diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis combination vaccine.

The firm said that it plans to invest a further INR2.5bn in the site over the next few years to “[expand] capacities and [create] infrastructure for the future pipeline products of the company​”.

The most advanced product in Biological E’s pipeline is a novel vaccine for Japanese encephalitis, which the firm says it may also produce in Hyderabad if it is approved by the country’s drug regulators.

Good vaccine news for India’s beleaguered govt.

Earlier this month, government plans to re-open three state owned vaccine markers that it closed in 2007 to cope with a shortfall in its immunization programme were heavily criticised.

The firms in question, BCG Lab, the Pasteur Institute of India (PII) and the Central Research Institute (CRI) were shut down after they failed to meet good manufacturing practice (GMP) standards for vaccine production.

At the time the government said it planned to convert the businesses to testing facilities and replace the lost manufacturing capacity with that from Hydreabad and a similar public-private co-funded campus being constructed in Chennai.

For the past year however, the government has sought to compensate by increasing the amount of vaccines it buys from private suppliers both in India and overseas. Despite these efforts, there have been problems sourcing sufficient doses for state vaccination programmes.

Last month Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Anbumani Ramadoss told the Indian parliament that a shortage of vaccines affected the Universal Immunisation Programme “in some states​.”

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