India Biological E. will produce COVID-19 vaccine Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) alongside its own candidate, its chief executive told Reuters on Tuesday, which could increase the country’s overall supply in the event of a shortage .
“The infrastructure and factories are completely separate for the two products and we will produce both independently of each other,” Mahima Datla said in a text message, declining to give a timeline or other details.
She told Reuters in February that Biological E. is looking to contract around 600 million doses of the J&J vaccine per year. The Indian government, however, did not account for any J&J production this year in the country in a list of likely vaccine production released last week. Read more
J&J confirmed to Reuters that it is working with Biological E. on the manufacture of its vaccine.
“We believe that Biological E. will be an important part of our global COVID-19 vaccine supply network, where multiple manufacturing sites are involved in the production of our vaccine at different facilities, sometimes in different countries and continents, before the vaccine cannot be distributed. A spokesperson for J&J India said in an email.
J&J said last month it had applied for permission to conduct a local clinical trial in India for its single-dose vaccine. Read more
Biological E., based in Hyderabad, a city in southern India, also plans to produce 75 to 80 million doses of its own vaccine per month from August. The drug was developed with the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and Dynavax Technologies Corp (DVAX.O). Read more
The United States said in March it would fund Biological E.’s efforts to produce at least 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2022. read more
Reuters reported on Tuesday that India was unlikely to resume major exports of COVID-19 vaccines until at least October, as it diverts vaccines for home use, a longer than expected delay that will exacerbate shortages of supply of the global COVAX initiative. Read more
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