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Bangladesh’s top pharma group & Serum Institute of India join hands for Covid-19 vaccine

Bangladesh’s top pharma group & Serum Institute of India join hands for Covid-19 vaccine 2

NEW DELHI: Bangladesh’s Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BPL), the fastest growing manufacturer of generic pharmaceutical products and active pharmaceutical ingredients in Bangladesh and Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd (SII), the largest manufacturer of vaccines in the world have announced that BPL will be investing with SII, for the development of the Covid-19 vaccine less than 10 days after Foreign Secretary’s visit to Dhaka. The BPL will be the exclusive distributor of SII for this vaccine in Bangladesh.

The investment amount will be treated as an advance and once the vaccine receives regulatory approvals, SII will include Bangladesh among the countries who will be the first to receive an agreed quantity of this vaccine from SII on a priority basis, according to a press release. Dependent on SII’s production capacity and earlier commitments to other countries, BPL’s investment amount and SII’s priority supply commitment will be determined, the release added.

BPL will also facilitate to secure the needs of the Government of Bangladesh (GOB) by offering the opportunity to reserve desired quantities for priority supply at prices to be agreed between the GOB and SII. The Company will also secure additional quantities of the vaccine to be distributed in the private pay market in Bangladesh.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine (AZD1222) is an adenovirus vector-based vaccine, currently undergoing large scale phase III trials in Brazil, US, UK and India. The UK trials are well underway and has shown very encouraging results and is expected to receive approval by the end of 2020. SII has already partnered with Oxford/AstraZeneca along with Gates Foundation and Gavi, to produce more than a billion doses of the vaccine for global supply.

Both Adar C Poonawalla, Owner and CEO of SII and Shayan F Rahman, Principal, BPL jointly remarked “We are excited to bring together two of the leading pharma companies in India and Bangladesh with the scale and capabilities to bring a hugely promising treatment to the people who need it the most. This landmark agreement reflects the deep-rooted desire for collaboration between the two countries and as representatives of the two nations, between us we can go a long way towards helping to mitigate the health crisis caused by the COVID-19.

The Foreign Secretary during his meeting Bangladesh PM had briefed her on India’s ongoing efforts in the wake of COVID-19. On vaccine development, he had informed that testing for the three vaccines was in different stages and that India would be launching a massive production exercise once a go-ahead was received from the scientific community, ET had reported.

He had informed PM Sheikh Hasina that India had already drawn up an outline to ramp up the production of the vaccines and to make it available to each and every person in the shortest possible time. India had provided timely Covid related assistance to Bangladesh including providing testing kits, medicines, surgical gloves and other equipment. India has also been conducting training for the Bangladeshi medical professionals in Bangla language.

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