Pune's Poonawala bets 3300 crore rupees on Oxford's Corona vaccine, Indian company Serum has vaccinated half of the world's children

Posted on 3rd Aug 2020 03:26 pm by rohit kumar

Geoffrey Gitelman. Indian businessman Adar Poonawala has made big bets on the creation of the Coronavirus vaccine. Serum Institute, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer in Pune, is going to manufacture millions of doses of the Corona vaccine. However, the vaccine that the Serum Institute is preparing is still in the trial phase. If this vaccine worked, the company's CEO Poonawala would become the most influential person in the world.


Serum Institute is working with Oxford

Poonawala's company is making the vaccine in association with the Serum Institute Oxford. The company had already announced a large scale vaccine before the clinical trials were over in April. In early May, the world's most trusted vaccine cellular material came from Oxford in a sealed steel box here.


500 doses will be prepared every minute

Poonawala's company is ready to take 500 doses of vaccine every minute. Poonawalla is getting calls from health ministers, prime ministers, and all heads of the world today, whom he never spoke to. Poonawala says, 'Everyone is requesting me for the first batch of vaccine. I explained to everyone that, look, I can't give you a half-hearted vaccine. "


Half of the world's children have got a vaccine made of serum

Coronavirus has caused worldwide upheaval. All hopes are based on the vaccine itself. In such a situation, the Serum Institute finds itself amidst very competitive and blurred efforts. To bring the vaccine out as soon as possible, the developers say they need a large vaccine assembly line from Serum. Serum produces 150 million doses of the second vaccine every year, which goes to most poor countries. This figure is more than any other company. Half of the world's children are vaccinated with serum. The scale of the company is typical.


India and the rest of the world will distribute 50-50 vaccines


At the moment, it is not clear how much of the vaccine will be kept in India and who will bear the cost of its manufacture. The condition of coronavirus in India is getting frightening and around 130 crore people need vaccines here. At the same time, the Modi government has banned the export of drugs.

Adar Poonawala says that 'they will distribute the millions of vaccines being made in India and the rest of the world in a 50-50 ratio. Their special focus will be on poor countries and PM Modi has no objection to this. Although the government can impose any type of emergency. "


By the time the trials are over, the vaccine will be ready

This Oxford vaccine is one of the trusted alternatives. Construction will begin on a large scale even before its effect is proved in different factories around the world. The vaccine takes time to prepare. Live cultures take weeks to grow inside bioreactors. For example, it is important to clean, fill, seal and pack every vial properly.


The reason for the two processes coming together is when the vaccine is in trials and by the time the trials are over, the vaccine will be ready. American and European governments have promised to spend millions of dollars on this effort. Along with this, Johnson & Johnson has entered into production deals with big pharmaceutical names like Pfizer, Sanofi, and AstraZeneca.


Serum Institute is different from other companies


AstraZeneca is a partner of Oxford. Apart from this, more than 7400 crores of government contracts have been signed for manufacturing vaccines for Europe, America, and other markets. However, it has also allowed the Serum Institute to produce. According to Poonawala, the difference is that his company itself is spending the production.

Apart from this, the Serum Institute is different from other companies due to a special difference. Like other successful Indian businessmen, it is a family business. This company makes decisions fast and takes big risks. This decision will cost the company millions of dollars.

Company History

Poonawalla says he was 70 to 80 percent sure that the Oxford vaccine would work, but I expect we won't go too deep.


If the shareholders are removed, the Serum Institute is run by only two people, Adar Poonawalla and his father Cyrus Poonawalla. Cyrus was a horse breeder who became a billionaire. The Serum Institute began as a shed in the family's horse farm about 50 years ago. Cyrus later realized that instead of donating horses to the vaccine lab, he could also process the serum himself and make the vaccine.


The company was started with the tetanus vaccine


Poonawalla started the company in 1967 by making tetanus vaccines. This is followed by snakebite antidotes. Then made shots of TB, hepatitis, polio, and flu. Poonawala created a large vaccine empire from the horse farm in Pune.

By combining India's cheap labor and advanced technology, the Serum Institute secured contracts for UNICEF, Pan American Health Organization by supplying inexpensive vaccines to poor countries. Now Poonawala is one of the rich families of India and his assets are more than 37000 thousand crores.


Scientists Monitor Vital Signs of Bio Reactors

Inside the facility, scientists wearing coronavirus vaccine candidates and white hoods see large stainless steel vats, where the vaccine's cellular material is being made. They are also monitoring the violet signal of bioreactors. Santam Narwade, Scientist, Serum, says, "These cells are very fragile. We have to take care of them with oxygen level and speed mixing, otherwise, these sales will be broken. We all feel as if we are providing solutions to the country and the world." Huh."


Preparation to make 30 crore doses by November

The Oxford-produced vaccine showed that it activates antibodies just like patients in the recovering COVID 19. Serum has already prepared millions of doses of this vaccine for research and development. By the time the trials are completed by November, Serum is in the process of preparing 300 million doses of stock for commercial use.


What if the vaccine failed?

Even if this vaccine is unsuccessful, the Serum Institute will be helpful. Serum joined hands with another vaccine designer to manufacture four other vaccines in the early stages of development. However, they are not being produced yet. If all of them fail, Poonawala says that they will soon put their assembly lines into the production of another effective vaccine. Very few people can produce a vaccine at this price, this scale and so fast.


For the first time, they are thinking of taking the help of private equity fund


Under the AstraZeneca deal, Serum can make 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine for India and middle and low-income countries. Apart from this, such a price can be charged which is not more than its production.

After the epidemic, Poonawala hopes that he will be able to sell the vaccine at a profit. During this, his biggest concern is cash. He has estimated that he is spending around Rs 3300 crore to produce the Oxford vaccine on a large scale.

During this time many of his expenses can never be met. Such as the chemical used in vials and processes to hold the vaccine. Poonawala says that for the first time they are thinking of taking the help of private equity funds.


On the contrary, there are deals prepared under US President Donald Trump's Warp Speed ​​Project and similar European plans. To secure millions of doses for its people, rich countries have already paid or promised to pay drug companies to remove risk from mass production of vaccines that might not work at all and were thrown out. Go.

Doctor Olivier Wouters, a health policy professor at the London School of Economics, says this vaccine explains nationalism. Rich countries are going ahead in the line and poor countries are at risk of being left behind.

Analysts have said that Serum is likely to receive funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation or perhaps the Government of India. However, both have refused to react to it. Serum's work is production only, at least in the case of the Oxford vaccine.


Revenue of the company increased after Adar became CEO

Ever since Adar Poonawala took over as CEO of Serum, the company has expanded into new markets. This has increased the revenue of the company to over 5900 crores. Adar says that 'his family is known to roam in a fancy car or jet rather than making a life-saving vaccine. Many people in India do not know what I do. They think hey you do something with horses and you are making money.

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