INDIA – The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the merger of Covidshield Technologies Pvt Ltd (CTPL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Serum Institute Life Sciences Pvt Ltd (SILS), and Biocon Biologics Ltd (BBL).

The proposed combination entails a merger by absorption of CTPL into BBL under a merger scheme in exchange for the SILS acquiring approximately 15% equity shareholding in BBL on a fully diluted basis at a post-money valuation of approximately US$4.9 billion.

SILS was founded as a subsidiary of Serum Institute of India Private Limited to further develop and commercialize vaccines and therapies against Covid-19. It also intended to develop vaccines against other infectious diseases.

The company is currently in the process of establishing its own manufacturing facility.

CTPL was formed with the intention of marketing, selling, and distributing vaccines, drugs, and other pharmaceutical products.

Diabetes, oncology, nephrology, cancer, and autoimmune diseases are among the chronic and acute diseases treated by BBL pharmaceutical products. It also has development centers in Bengaluru and Chennai.

It has monoclonal antibody, recombinant protein, and insulin manufacturing facilities in Bengaluru and Malaysia.

Biocon announced the proposed deal in September 2021, stating that BBL will receive committed access to 100 million doses of vaccines per year for 15 years, primarily from SILS’s upcoming vaccine facility in Pune, as well as global commercialization rights to the SILS vaccine portfolio (including Covid-19 vaccines).

The collaborations support Biocon Biologics’ intention to impact global health by spanning infectious and noncommunicable diseases.

Beginning in second-half of FY23, BBL will generate a committed revenue stream and related margins. Adar Poonawalla will join the board of directors of Biocon Biologics Limited.

In addition to vaccines, the strategic alliance will develop antibodies against a variety of infectious diseases such as Dengue, HIV, and others.

The two companies will enter into Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for the vaccines and antibodies’ manufacturing and distribution.

Vaccines are a complementary business fit for BBL and add a new dimension to the company’s efforts to improve global healthcare.

BBL recently announced a manufacturing and commercialization partnership with Boston-based Adagio Therapeutics Inc. for ADG20, a novel Covid-19 antibody therapy.

Biocon Biologics will also establish a vaccine R&D division at its own expense to support the strategic alliance in developing vaccines and biologics for communicable diseases.

Furthermore, as part of the strategic alliance, it will make available its cell culture and sterile fill and finish capacities for vaccine production whenever possible.

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