INDIA — Bharat Biotech, an Indian vaccine manufacturer, and Bilthoven Biologicals, a subsidiary of Serum Institute of India, have forged a significant partnership aimed at producing and supplying oral polio vaccines (OPVs) globally.

Under this agreement, Bharat Biotech will procure drug substances from Bilthoven Biologicals to manufacture oral polio vaccines, which will be distributed both within India and worldwide.

The collaboration also entails securing regulatory approvals to commercially produce OPVs in India, utilizing the drug substances sourced from the Netherlands.

Expressing enthusiasm about the partnership, Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India, emphasized the joint commitment to combatting polio globally, underscoring the importance of this endeavor in mitigating the impact of the disease on vulnerable populations.

Krishna Ella, Executive Chairman of Bharat Biotech, highlighted the pivotal role oral polio vaccines play in India’s Universal Immunisation Programme.

He underscored that this collaboration exemplifies the synergy between vaccine companies, ensuring a steady supply of oral polio vaccines and reinforcing the nation’s pursuit of polio eradication.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), polio predominantly affects children under the age of 5, with one in 200 infections resulting in irreversible paralysis.

Despite significant progress, as of October 2023, the disease remains endemic in two countries– Afghanistan and Pakistan..

The WHO warns that failure to eradicate polio from these last remaining strongholds could trigger a global resurgence of the disease.

 Both Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India have established themselves as prominent players in the global vaccine landscape.

Bharat Biotech, headquartered in India, has supplied over nine billion vaccine doses worldwide, while the Serum Institute of India, a global leader in vaccine production, acquired Bilthoven Biologicals in 2012, bolstering its capabilities in injectable polio vaccines. 

For all the latest healthcare industry news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, and YouTube Channel, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, and like us on Facebook.