Representative picture: AFP
Biocon Biologics and Serum Institute of India (SII) on September 17 said their strategic alliance goes beyond the fill-finish, or filling up of vials and packaging them for distribution, of 100 million doses of vaccines annually.
The two companies are exploring development and commercialisation of SII’s biologic portfolio, considering possibilities of backward integration into manufacture of raw materials for vaccines and biologics, and plan to develop and make drugs and vaccines based on mRNA platform.
“The short-term opportunity is to cross-leverage our existing infrastructure and capabilities, there I don’t think it’s about huge investments. Obviously as we get into new opportunities, we will be looking at co-investing,” Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Executive Chairperson, Biocon & Biocon Biologics.
“Based on the new opportunities coming in globally, we are both investing on additional capacities continuously. As we see opportunities coming we will expedite on those investments, cross-leverage the advantages we have,” Adar Poonawalla, said CEO of SII.
Biocon Biologics, a subsidiary of Biocon, and Serum Institute Life Sciences Private Limited (SILS), a subsidiary of SII, have announced a strategic alliance.
Under the agreement, Biocon Biologics will offer about 15 percent stake to SILS, at a post-money valuation of $4.9 billion, for which it will get committed access to 100 million doses of vaccines per annum for 15 years, primarily from SILS’s upcoming vaccine facility in Pune with commercialization rights of the SILS vaccine portfolio (including COVID-19 vaccines) for global markets.
“We are talking about 100 million doses, the prices of the vaccines can range between $3-$10 depending on where you supply these vaccines. There is also profit share, there is also value accretion both in revenues and profit. That’s what is added to Biocon Biologics business.
Biocon Biologics will be rolling out COVID-19 vaccines from its facilities next year.
SII’s biologics to get boost
In addition to vaccines, Poonawalla said the partnership will help SII continue with its biologics manufacturing that took a hit due to COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing.
“SII has to take a difficult decision to divert the capacities meant for manufacturing of monoclonal antibodies and sacrificed all of it to manufacturing Covishield for the country,” Poonawalla said.
SII is currently manufacturing 160 million doses of Covishield vaccine.
“We are hoping to get that back through this partnership, we want to maintain our ambition in the biologics space,” Poonawalla added.
Poonawalla said SII would leverage both Biocon manufacturing and reach in certain geographies to commercialise its biologic portfolio. SII biologics portfolio includes monoclonal antibody drugs for treating Dengue, HIV and other infectious diseases.
“As far as mRNA technology is concerned, of course, we will look at very important opportunities for the partnership. We will look at investing in researching this particular platform. We look at differentiation in terms of mRNA vaccines in terms of cold and we would like to improve on that. Also we are careful watching the durability of mRNA vaccines, as we manufacture the vaccines,” Mazumdar-Shaw said.
SII already has manufacturing capabilities to manufacture mRNA vaccines.
Poonawalla said he expected the export restrictions on COVID-19 vaccine to ease in “next month or two”
“It will happen very soon.. if you look at how many vaccines we have delivered and others in India have delivered, we are coming very close to a point, where we have enough of vaccine stock, especially with us scaling up even further this year, in the next two months we would expect easing.. we will go by what government feels appropriate,” Poonawalla said.Internet Explorer Channel Network