Hyderabad: In a bid to augment vaccine production, the government has decided to support some public sector companies with grants under the Mission COVID Suraksha project. One such company is the city-based Indian Immunological Limited (IIL), a facility under the PSU, National Dairy Development Board.

A technical agreement has been reached between the IIL and Bharat Biotech. The IIL has agreed to supply the substance required for manufacturing Covaxin vaccine to Bharat Biotech. The managing director of IIL, Dr K. Anand Kumar, said that the IIL is planning to start the production of drug substance for Covaxin from 15 June, and send out the first batch to Bharat Biotech by July.

Stating that IIL is expected to produce the raw material for about 10-15 million doses per month, Dr Anand Kumar said it will be initially make a quantity enough for 2-3 million doses and will scale-up to 6-7 million doses per month later in the year.

Dr Kumar said that they are converting the Karkapatla manufacturing unit of IIL near Hyderabad into a bio-safety level-3 (BSL3) facility for the production of the chemical and is also taking up construction of another block. The IIL is also working on another COVID-19 vaccine and the animal trials are currently underway. The vaccine is expected to be produced for humans by next year.

Under the Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0 Mission, the COVID Suraksha project was announced by the Government of India to accelerate the development and production of indigenous COVID vaccines. The project is being implemented by the Department of Biotechnology. The IIL, Hyderabad, has been sanctioned a grant of Rs 60 crore towards enhancing its production capabilities.

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