HYDERABAD: Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech is planning to scale up the production capacity of its indigenously-developed Covid vaccine — Covaxin — to 1 billion doses per annum by the fourth quarter of 2021.
A top Bharat Biotech official said on Thursday the company plans to use its Chiron Behring facility in Gujarat’s Ankleshwar to boost capacity by another 200 million doses.
The Ankleshwar facility, acquired by Bharat Biotech in 2019, currently makes rabies vaccines that are produced based on the inactivated vero cell platform technology. Covaxin, an inactivated whole-virion vaccine, uses the same technology.
However, the Gujarat facility will need to be repurposed for the production of Covaxin.
The inhouse capacity of Covaxin crossed 500 million doses per annum at multiple facilities across the company, according to Bharat Biotech’s joint managing director Suchitra Ella.
The company said it has been ramping up capacity and has already deployed multiple production lines at its Hyderabad and Bengaluru campuses.
In Bengaluru, the company is manufacturing the vaccine at the Malur facility in Kolar, which is owned by a sister concern Biovet that makes animal vaccines. The facility has been repurposed to produce Covaxin.
Over 20 million doses of Covaxin, which was approved for restricted emergency use in January this year, have already been supplied for the national vaccination programme, Ella had said recently.
The vaccine has shown an interim efficacy of around 78% in Phase III efficacy trials conducted on 25,800 volunteers across the country.