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Bharat Biotech to scale up Covaxin production capacity to 700 million doses a year

NEW DELHI, April 20: Bharat Biotech has announced a scaling up of its manufacturing capacity to produce 700 million doses of Covaxin annually. The vaccine has received Emergency Use Authorisations (EUA) in several countries across the globe with another 60 in process including the US.

Pricing for international markets and supplies to governments under EUAs have been established between $15 and $20 per dose.

To further increase capacities, Bharat Biotech has partnered with Indian Immunologicals (IIL) to manufacture the drug substance for Covaxin. The technology transfer process is underway and IIL has the capabilities and expertise to manufacture inactivated viral vaccines at commercial scale and under biosafety containment. The manufacturing scale-up has been carried out in a stepwise manner across multiple facilities at Hyderabad and Bangalore.

Inactivated vaccines, while highly safe, are extremely complex and expensive to manufacture, resulting in lower yields when compared to live virus vaccines. Capacity expansion in vaccines manufacturing is a long and tedious process, requiring investments of several millions of rupees and several years.

Bharat Biotech claimed it is able to expand Covaxin manufacturing capacity in a short timeline, mainly due to the availability of new specially designed BSL- 3 facilities, first of its kind for manufacturing in India that have been repurposed and preexisting expertise and know-how to manufacture, test and release highly purified inactivated viral vaccines.

Manufacturing partnerships are being explored with partners in other countries, who have prior expertise with commercial-scale manufacture of inactivated viral vaccines under biosafety containment, the statement added.

Bharat Biotech uses a proprietary adjuvant Algel-IMDG, that has now proven to be a safe and effective adjuvant, especially to stimulate memory T cell responses. The synthesis and manufacture of the IMDG component has been successfully indigenized and will be manufactured at commercial scale within the country. This is the first instance where a novel adjuvant has been commercialised in India.

The protocols for manufacturing, testing and release of inactivated vaccines have been tried, tested and validated across several of our vaccines, these also meet the requirements of WHO, Indian and other regulatory authorities. These protocols have delivered consistent results over a 15-year period with more than 300 million doses supplied globally, with excellent safety and performance record, an official statement issued today has said.

Covid-19 impact: Hero MotoCorp shuts down all factories

NEW DELHI, April 20: Hero MotoCorp has halted manufacturing at all its plants in light of the ongoing surge in spread of Covid-19 across the country. The shutdown, which is temporary and includes the global parts centre (GPC), is a first by a two-wheeler maker in this financial year.

The Delhi-based maker of Splendor stated that it will utilize these shut-down days to carry out necessary maintenance work in the manufacturing plants. Each plant and GPC will remain shut for four days, in a staggered manner between April 22 – May 1 basis the local scenario, the company said.

“The shutdown will not impact the company’s ability to meet the demand, which has been impacted due to localized shut-downs in many states and production loss will be compensated during the remainder of the quarter”, Hero MotoCorp said in a filing with the stock exchanges.

All corporate offices of Hero Motocorp are already in work from home mode and ‘a very limited number of employees are in offices on rotation basis for continuity of essential services’.

Hero’s plants are located at Dharuhera and Gurugram in Haryana, at Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh, at Haridwar in Uttarakhand, at Neemrana in Rajasthan and at Halol in Gujarat. Hero has an annual combined manufacturing capacity of nearly 10 units per annum.

Citigroup to shutter retail banking operations in 13 countries including India

NEW DELHI, April 15: Citigroup has announced that it will shutter retail banking operations in 13 countries including India and China.

The American multinational investment bank and financial services company has said that it will exit consumer/retail operations in 13 countries across Asia and Europe.

The 13 nations Citibank (the largest foreign bank in India) will pull out from are Australia, Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Notably, Citigroup’s Institutional Clients Group will continue to serve clients in the markets where it is ending consumer operations.




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