Berna Bio To Source Zydus Rabies Vaccine

Mumbai, October 22: | Updated: Oct 23 2002, 05:30am hrs
Berna Biotech is planning to source the new generation rabies vaccine Vaxirab from Zydus Cadila. This follows the closure of its operations in Spain and South Korea besides Switzerland.

Berna Biotech director (research & development) Dr Reinhard Gluck said this at the launch of Vaxirab by Zydus Cadila here on Monday. Vaxirab is a purified duck embryo rabies vaccine offering faster action and quicker protection. Zydus Cadila is manufacturing the vaccine in technical collaboration with Berna Biotech - the orignators of this vaccine.

The buyback of these vaccines would not commence immediately, as Zydus Cadila only has a capacity of one lakh dosages per month. This is inadequate to cater even to the domestic market, Zydus Vaccicare general manager (marketing) S Nagaraj said.

The company has set up the existing capacity at a cost of Rs 20 crore and would consider expanding it by another 50,000 dosage per month at a later stage.

Berna Biotech may consider buyback of around 1-2 million dosages per annum from Zydus Cadila, Dr Gluck said. Currently, it continues to cater to its global market through the stocks it has accumulated before shutting down its facilities, he added.

Mr Nagraj estimated the domestic market at around Rs 150-160 crore and expected Zydus Cadila to garner 10-12 per cent market share. According to WHO (World Health Organisation), three million cases of dog bites are reported in India each year and an equal number of cases from rural area go unreported.

At a demand of 30 million dosages for rabies vaccine in India, there is a demand-supply gap of 11-12 million dosages, Mr Nagraj said.

A patient has to undergo a course of five intra-muscular injection after the dog bite. The vaccine is priced at Rs 294 exclusive of taxes.

Among the other vaccine products in Berna Biotechs portfolio include Epaxal, Vivotif, Orochol and Inflexal against hepatitis A, typhoid fever, cholera and influenza respectively.