Expect 1st batch of Covaxin from unit in Pune in 100 days

Bharat Biotech, through its associate firm Biovet, is expected to roll out its first batch of Covaxin from the Manjari Khurd manufacturing plant in Pune district in the next 100 days, Pune divisional commissioner Saurabh Rao said on Wednesday.

Rao, along with Pune collector Rajesh Deshmukh, visited the site on Wednesday and held discussions with Bharat Biotech officials.

The Bombay high court recently allowed Biovet to manufacture Covaxin vials at the fully operational and ready vaccine plant on the 12-hectare site in Manjari Khurd village.

“Pune district, with the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech, is surely going to become the vaccine capital of India. We have assured full cooperation to the company top officials [of Bharat Biotech] who were here to discuss and chart out the road map ahead. They are to give us a detailed plan in a week’s time,” Rao said.

He added that once the facility is fully operational, the company would be able to manufacture 15-20 million doses per month.

The local administration would assist the company for ensuring water availability, security, approach roads and deployment of manpower. “From water to electricity supply, logistics, security and licences, we have extended all cooperation and will help the company on all fronts to speed up production,” Deshmukh said, adding that the detailed plan would be ready within the next few days. “It will give us a clear idea on how the company plans to operate in Pune,” he added.

Biovet, which is headquartered and registered in Bengaluru, is primarily focused on veterinary vaccines, including the foot and mouth disease shots.

The 12-hectare plot in Manjari Khurd in Pune district where Biovet plans to produce Covaxin vaccines already has an operational veterinary vaccine unit, which was run by a subsidiary of the global drugmaker Merck. The company agreed to sell it to Biovet as a part of its India exit strategy.

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