Haffkine Biopharma to produce 22.8 crore doses per annum of Covaxin under technology transfer arrangement with Bharat Biotech

Haffkine Biopharma, a Maharashtra state public enterprise is getting ready to manufacture Covaxin vaccine under technology transfer arrangement with Bharat Biotech Ltd, Hyderabad.  The production will take place at the Parel complex of the company. Haffkine Biopharma to produce 22.8 crore doses per annum of Covaxin under technology transfer arrangement.

With the aim of vaccinating the entire eligible population at the earliest, domestic vaccine production is being steadily ramped up in the country with help from the Centre.   As part of this initiative, three public enterprises are being supported by the Department of Biotechnology under Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0 MissionCOVID Suraksha.  These enterprises include Haffkine Biopharmaceutical Corporation Ltd, Mumbai, IndianImmunologicals Ltd, Hyderabad, and Bharat Immunologicals& Biologicals Ltd, Bulandshahar, Uttar Pradesh. 

Dr. Sandeep Rathod, Managing Director of HaffkineBioPharma said that the company proposes to produce 22.8 crore doses of Covaxin in a year.  “For undertaking production of Covaxin, Haffkine Biopharma has been provided with Rs 65 crore grant by the Centre and Rs 94 crore from the Government of Maharashtra,” he added. 

 “We have been given a timeline of eight months and the work is being executed on a war footing. The vaccine production process involves two stages – drug substance and final drug product.  For production of drug substance we need to build a Bio Safety Level 3 (BSL 3) facility, while Haffkine already has the Fill Finish facility” said Rathod, the doctor turned IAS officer.  BSL 3 is a safety standard applicable to such facilities where work involves microbes which can cause serious disease via inhalation route. 

‘Enhancing vaccine production capacity using Public sectors assets will go a long way in building production capacity of vaccines in our country to support the massive vaccination drive” said, DrRenuSwarup,  Secretary Department of Biotechnology and Chairperson, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).

HaffkineBioPharmaceutical Corporation Ltd is an offshoot of the 122 year old Haffkine Institute, which is one of the oldest biomedical research institutes in the country, named after the Russian  bacteriologist Dr. WaldemarHaffkine, who invented the plague vaccine.