As India faces a grim vaccine shortage across different states, numerous pharmaceutical companies are taking a stand in order to battle this dearth, by boosting local manufacture of vaccines. Shilpa Biologicals Private Limited (SBPL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shilpa Medicare, has teamed up with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL) for manufacturing the Sputnik V vaccine. SBPL has entered into a 3-year definitive agreement with DRL to produce 50 million doses of the vaccine in the first 12 months.
“Shilpa Biologicals will be responsible for the vaccine’s manufacture while DRL will take the task of distribution andmarketing of the vaccine within its marked regions”, said Shilpa Medicare in a regulatory release.
When Will The Production Start?
While Dr. Reddy’s soft-launched Sputnik V on May 14, 2021, the manufacture of vaccines will begin by July this year. The production will be flagged off at the company’s integrated research and development and manufacturing unit set up in the Dharwad district of Karnataka. “Both the companies have increased their preparations for the production of Sputnik V. We have the right plan and we’re doing our best to execute in the best manner”, said Piyush Sikarwar, Analytical Scientist at Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories.
The companies aim to manufacture 5 crore doses (50 million of Component 1 and 50 million of Component 2) within the first 12 months. However, DRL has mentioned that India will be receiving 250 million doses over the next 8-10 months.
Will The Production Affect The Vaccine Shortage?
“Local manufacturing will not only reduce the vaccine shortage but also result in easier and faster availability of it at nominal prices”, added Sikarwar. The imported Sputnik V comes with a tag of Rs. 948, while the retail price of locally manufactured Sputnik V will be Rs. 995 per dose with 5% GST. However, these vaccines will not be levied with heavy import duties, unlike others. Experts believe that local manufacture of vaccines will help reduce shortage and India will have sufficient vaccines for everyone by December this year.
Others To Follow
Companies like Biological E. Ltd., Serum Institute of India, Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Ltd., and Zydus Cadila have started local manufacture of vaccines and are expected to provide at least five crore doses each by the end of 2021.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has not only partnered with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories but teamed up with Hetero Biopharma, Gland Pharma, Stelis Biopharma and Vichrow Biotech for manufacturing Sputnik V in India.