Vaccine production boost: Biological E to get $50-million US funding

The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) will furnish $ 50 million to Biological E Limited to increase its Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing capacity. A media invitation from the US Consulate said the chief operating officer of the DFC David Marchick and Biological E MD Mahima Datla will formalise the financing agreement on October 25.

Biologic E is carrying out Phase 2/3 trials of its Covid-19 vaccine, Corbevax, and has received advance orders from the government of India for supplying 30 crore doses by December. The government has made an advance payment of Rs 1,500 crore to Biological E. Hyderabad-based Biological E has plans to make one billion doses of the vaccine by end of 2022. This includes Biological E’s own vaccine and manufacturing of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine in India.

This funding will be for expanding Biological E’s manufacturing capacity at its Hyderabad plant to produce Covid-19 vaccine. The agreement will help bolster near-term COVID-19 response efforts and will also benefit long-term global health in India and throughout the Indo-Pacific region, the US Consulate’s invitation said.

DFC is America’s development bank and partners with the private sector to finance solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world currently.

Earlier in March at the Quad Leaders Summit, the United States, through the DFC, said it will work with Biological E to finance increased capacity to support the vaccine maker’s effort to produce at least one billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2022, including the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The manufacturing of the vaccine should be with Stringent Regulatory Authorization and/or World Health Organization Emergency Use Listing, a White House press release had earlier said.

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