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The Pune company plans to prepare 20-40 million Covid-19 vaccines for launch in September-October | Pune News

MUMBAI: The Pune-based Serum Institute, accredited with affordable and innovative therapies such as pneumonia and monoclonal dengue vaccines, plans to put a price on the proposed Covid-19 vaccine at around Rs 1,000 per dose in India. Serum is one of the global manufacturers that is putting its weight behind a consortium led by the University of Oxford, which announced the start of human clinical trials on April 23 and is one of the first projects of its kind to start in all the world.

“We hope to start the trials in India starting in May, with a few hundred patients, and we hope to launch the vaccine between September and October, if the trials are successful. We are planning to make the vaccine available at an affordable price of around Rs 1,000 in India, which will take into account the costs (for us), ”the CEO and promoter of the Serum Institute, Adar Poonawalla, told TOI.

The price in India, he said, is expected to be substantially lower than the global one as in the case of other vaccines like MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) that are available at more than 10 times the price of India in countries like the Kingdom. United.

“We are not expecting the tests to end in September in the UK and then start production here. The decision, at our own risk and cost, has been made solely to start manufacturing, to have sufficient doses available, if clinical trials prove to be successful. Our goal is to manufacture four to five million doses per month for the first six months, after which we could scale up to 10 million doses per month, depending on the success of the trials. We are looking to increase it to 20-40 million doses for September-October. If it is successful, we will make the product available in as many countries as possible, including India, ”he said.

The vaccine will be manufactured at Serum’s existing facilities in Pune. For this, it will stop the production of other vaccines, since its new plant, with an investment of approximately 3,000 million rupees, will take a couple of years to appear. “We would have spent around $ 150 million, directly and indirectly, on this project. We hope that the government partners (with us) accumulating the vaccine. It will help us recoup the cost, ”said Poonawalla.

In elaborating, he said that in addition to the capital expenditure of about $ 60 million on the new plant, there is also the lost opportunity cost of about $ 60 million per year (due to interruption of production of other vaccines), the cost of clinical trials and vaccine production for COVID-19.

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