Sapigen Biologix to develop intranasal Covid-19 & malaria vaccines at estimated cost of ₹311.30 crore

TDB-DST supported Sapigen helmed by Dr Krishna Murthy Ella to set up state -of- the -art world- class vaccine manufacturing facility in Bhubaneswar, Odisha

New Delhi: Technology Development Board has approved financial support of ₹100 Crores out of the total project cost estimated at ₹311.30 Crores to Sapigen Biologix, Hyderabad for development & commercialization of two novel vaccines – Intranasal Covid-19 Vaccine” and “RTS, S Malaria Vaccine”.
The company helmed by Dr Krishna Ella of Bharat Biotech aims to set up a state-of-the art cGMP facility in Bhubaneswar, in compliance with latest global standards, for manufacturing Intranasal Covid-19 Vaccine and (RTS, S) Malaria Vaccine initially and later expand the product portfolio by adding other vaccines.
Both the vaccines are novel and will come under the ambit of commercial production for the first time.
The company is targeting 100 million doses/annum of intranasal Covid-19 vaccine by April 2023 and 15 million doses/ annum RTS, S Malaria vaccine by the end of April 2025.
Union Minister of State for Science & Technology; Dr. Jitendra Singh while speaking at the ceremony to sign an agreement between Technology Development Board and Sapigen Biologix noted that within only a couple of years of the pandemic, the Indian pharmaceutical industry has been able to develop its own indigenous vaccines.
“It has also shown the technology absorption capacity to support manufacturing of nearly all the COVID vaccines that have been developed, that too in a cost effective manner, thus emerging as the “pharmacy of the world”. As of March 2021, India exported 5.84 crore doses of COVID vaccines to 70 countries. This has been possible due to availability of low-cost skilled manpower and a well-established manufacturing ecosystem,” Dr Singh said.
Dr Krishna Ella, CMD Bharat Biotech has agreed to support another initiative, where he has agreed to give ₹200 crores and TDB will contribute the matching ₹200 crores to form a ₹400 Crores Corpus Fund which will be used exclusively to support Startups. Through this fund, Startups will be supported in different fields across India using services of professional agencies at relaxed terms and conditions.
In his comments, Rajesh Kumar Pathak, IP&TAFS, Secretary, TDB, said, “Indian pharma companies, not only providing the yeoman service to the nation but also are instrumental in providing the medicines and vaccines at affordable cost to the entire world and thus transforming India as “The Pharmacy of the World”. TDB’s support to such Indian pharma companies over the years, engaged in indigenous manufacturing of vaccines has contributed immensely to the development and setting up of the vaccine manufacturing ecosystem in India.”
In contrast to the Intramuscular (IM) corona virus vaccine currently in use, the intra nasal vaccine can generate mucosal immune response thereby protecting both the upper and lower respiratory system of a vaccinated individual and break the cycle of infection and transmission. The present project uses the technology platform developed by Washington University, School of Medicine in St Louis for the SARS-COV-2 chimpanzee adenovirus in inactivate or killed virus form.
In case of RTS, S Malaria Vaccine, the WHO’s top advisory bodies for malaria and immunization have jointly recommended phased introduction of the vaccine in selected areas of sub-Saharan Africa. Three countries – Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi – began introducing the vaccine in selected areas of moderate and high malaria transmission in 2019. Vaccinations are being provided through each country’s routine immunization program. As per the forecast of GAVI, the demand for malaria vaccine would be 75 million doses by 2035.