Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asked Indian pharma companies, involved in making coronavirus vaccines, to give suggestions and ideas regarding the regulatory processes and related matters. Recently, there has been a surge in interest from foreign companies towards partnering with India’s pharma companies. Ambassadors of 100 countries are scheduled to arrive in Pune on December 4, to visit the Serum Institute of India, and Gennova Biopharma, said the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). While Sweden has already acknowledged India’s role as the ‘pharmacy of the world’ and is focusing on expanding bilateral cooperation in the areas of health and life sciences in view of the coronavirus pandemic, Luxembourg based company B Systems is partnering with India to produce portable vaccine refrigeration equipment, which will address the issue of vaccine distribution in India.
It is to be noted that PM Modi had recently held a virtual summit with his Luxembourg counterpart Xavier Bettel, during which he had stressed on intensifying bilateral cooperation. The Indian government has also allocated Rs 900 crore for Mission Covid Suraksha, which is launched to accelerate vaccine development. This grant is to be provided to the Department of Biotechnology for Research & Development of Indian Covid-19 vaccines, and the government will likely ensure that they are fast-tracked in public health systems, subject to all regulatory clearances.
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So far, at least five Indian pharmaceutical companies are engaged in vaccine development, and Serum Institute has been chosen for mass production of Covishield vaccine developed by Oxford –Astra Zeneca. The government has further initiated a Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing and delivery ecosystem to meet the demand, PMO added. Meanwhile, in a three-city visit to the facilities of Zydus in Ahmedabad, Serum Institute in Pune, and Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad today, PM Modi reviewed the progress of indigenous vaccine development. He further discussed matters related to logistics, transport, cold chain, etc, for delivering the vaccines.