Modi visits Bharat Biotech’s vaccine manufacturing facility in Hyderabad


Hyderabad, November 28

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday visited a facility of Bharat Biotech located at Genome valley here and reviewed the progress of Covaxin, a vaccine candidate for COVID-19 being developed by the company.

Modi landed at Hakimpet Air Force station near here at around 1 pm, as part of his three-city tour to take the stock of COVID-19 vaccine development.

He was received by Telangana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, Director General of Police Mahendar Reddy and other officials.

He proceeded to the facility at Genome valley, a life sciences cluster about 20 km from the AF base by road amid tight security.

Modi interacted with Bharat Biotech’s chairman and managing director Krishna Ella, scientists and senior management, who appraised the PM of the progress of the vaccine candidate.

He spent about one hour at the facility.

“At the Bharat Biotech facility in Hyderabad, was briefed about their indigenous COVID-19 vaccine. Congratulated the scientists for their progress in the trials so far. Their team is closely working with ICMR to facilitate speedy progress,” Modi tweeted after the visit.

“The management gave a presentation to Modi and explained the progress of Covaxin. The Prime Minister appreciated them,” company sources told PTI.

After leaving the facility, the PM got down from his convoy at the main gate and waved to media persons and the cheering crowd standing nearby.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Bharat Biotech facility during his 3-city visit to review COVID-19 vaccine development work, in Hyderabad. PTI Photo 

Covaxin, being developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research and National Institute of Virology, is now undergoing phase-3 trials.

The Phase-3 trials involve 26,000 volunteers across India, conducted in partnership with ICMR.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at Zydus Biotech Park to review the development of COVID-19 vaccine ZyCOV-D, at Changodar in Ahmedabad on Saturday. PTI Photo

It is the largest clinical trial conducted for a COVID-19 vaccine in India.

The vaccine is being developed and will be manufactured at Bharat Biotech’s BSL-3 (Bio-Safety Level 3) facility in Genome Valley in Hyderabad.

At around 3.20 pm, Modi took off to Pune, where he will visit the Serum Institute of India (SII), which has partnered with pharma giant AstraZeneca and the Oxford University for the vaccine.

Earlier in the morning, Modi visited Zydus Cadila’s plant near Ahmedabad.

Zydus Cadila has announced that the phase-I clinical trial of its vaccine candidate ZyCoV-D is over and it has commenced phase-II clinical trials from August.

“Modi was extensively briefed about the vaccine development work at the plant by the company officials. He was briefed about the vaccine production procedure. He interacted with scientists and vaccine developers,” an official said.

Zydus Cadila chairman Pankaj Patel recently said the company was aiming to complete the vaccine trial by March 2021 and could produce up to 100 million doses a year.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to pharma major Zydus Cadila’s manufacturing facility on Saturday. PTI Photo

After his hour-long visit to the Bharat Biotech’s facility, the PM will proceed to Pune, where he will visit the Serum Institute of India (SII), which has partnered with global pharma giant AstraZeneca and the Oxford University for the vaccine.

The Prime Minister will reach the Serum Institute campus around 4.30 pm, an official has said.

Modi’s hour-long visit to SII is aimed at reviewing the status of the vaccine candidate for coronavirus infection and to know about its launch, production and distribution mechanism, he said.

Official sources said though the state government had sent names of Chief Minister and other dignitaries to receive Modi at the Air Force Station, the PMO has given clearance for only five officials.

An official release from the PIB said Modi visited the facility to personally review the COVID-19 vaccine development and manufacturing process. PTI

The Prime Minister will fly back to Delhi in the evening, the official said. PTI



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