All eyes on Pune for production of COVID19 vaccine being developed by Oxford University

Adar Poonawalla
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Pune, 21 July 2020: The trial of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID19) vaccine being developed by Oxford University and drug maker AstraZeneca has yielded very encouraging results. The great thing is that AstraZeneca is also collaborating with the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) to manufacture this vaccine. The CEO of this homegrown company, Adar Poonawalla, said that the company would apply to the Indian drug regulator to get a license to start its clinical trial within a week.

Serum Institute of India is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer. It now produces 1.5 billion vaccine doses every year. Oxford University and AstraZeneca have chosen Serum Institute to manufacture their COVID-19 vaccine. The Pune-based company had earlier said that it would start making the vaccine before the last order was received so that the vaccine could be ready in sufficient quantities by the time all the permissions were granted.

Apply for license in a week: CEO Adar Poonawalla said, “The test has shown promising results and we are very happy about it. We will apply for license with the Indian regulator in a week. As soon as we get permission, we will start testing the vaccine in India. Along with this, we will also start making vaccines in large quantities immediately.”


The Lancet gave the good news: In the first phase of testing on humans, a total of 1,077 healthy people aged 18 to 55 were given vaccine doses. Vaccine doses were given to these people in five UK hospitals in April and May, the results of which were published on Monday in the world’s famous medical journal The Lancet. The results showed that the vaccine maintained strong antibodies and T-cell immune response in humans for 56 days. T-cells are extremely important to ensure virus protection for years.

Encouraging results in human trials: However, AstraZeneca issued a statement saying that in the first and second phase COV001 (COVID19 vaccine) trial led by Oxford University, the vaccine demonstrated strong immunity against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Scientists said Monday that the coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University seems safe. It has created strong immunity in the body.

Serum Institute was established in 1966: The Serum Institute of (SII) India was founded in the year 1966 by Cyrus Poonawalla, the father of Adar Poonawalla. The company has partnered with US biotech firm Codagenix, its rival Novavax and Austria’s Themis to make three important vaccine candidates. Poonawalla said that SII will initially focus on making 40 to 50 lakh vaccine doses every month, which will be increased to about 40 crore annually.