Serum Institute to start manufacturing Oxford University’s COVID vaccine in 3 weeks; launch by October if trials succeed

Vaccine major Serum Institute of India on Sunday said it plans to start production of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University in the next two to three weeks and hopes to bring it to the market by October if the human clinical trials are successful. The Pune-based company has […]

Vaccine major Serum Institute of India on Sunday said it plans to start production of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University in the next two to three weeks and hopes to bring it to the market by October if the human clinical trials are successful.

The Pune-based company has partnered with Oxford University as one of the seven global institutions manufacturing the vaccine.

“Our team has been working closely with Dr Hill from Oxford University, and we are expecting to initiate production of the vaccine in 2-3 weeks and produce 5 million doses per month for the first 6 months, following which, we hope to scale up production to 10 million doses per month,” Serum Institute India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla said.

SII has collaborated with scientists at Oxford University for a malaria vaccine project in the past and can say with certainty that they are some of the best scientists, he added.

“We expect the (COVID-19) vaccine to be out in the market by September – October, only if the trials are successful with the requisite safety and assured efficacy. We will be starting trials in India for this vaccine hopefully over the next 2-3 weeks’ time,” Poonawalla said.

SII will be manufacturing the vaccine in anticipation of clinical trials succeeding by September – October in the UK, he added.

“Following that, we have undertaken the decision to initiate manufacturing at our own risk. The decision has been solely taken to have a jump-start on manufacturing, to have enough doses available, if the clinical trials prove successful,” Poonawalla said.

The company plans to initiate the trials in India for the vaccine with necessary regulatory approvals, which are underway presently.

Source Article

Lois C. Ferrara

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