Buzz InsightManjula Nair

A Serum against Corona by Serum Institute

The world is facing the Corona pandemic of global proportions. With far reaching impacts on the global economy, human capital and potential enduring changes to the social lifestyles of humankind. An analysis by the UN department of Economic & Social Affairs (DESA) says the Corona pandemic will reduce the global economy will contract by 0.9 per cent, as opposed to the pre corona figures portraying a growth of 2.5% for the year 2020. This contraction will be mostly to due Supply side shocks and an even greater demand side shock.

To get everything back in order, the dire need of the hour is a vaccine, and a vaccine which is rolled out to the market ASAP. 43 pharmaceutical and bio tech companies have launched their biggest ever research initiatives to invent a vaccine for Covid-19. Two major Indian players are Zydus Cadila and Serum Institute.

But before a vaccine is rolled off the production lines, there are a lot of conditions to be satisfied. Experts say for a vaccine to reach the market it will take at least 12 to 18 months. As the antidote after a pre-clinical trial has to go through multiple animal tests, thereby human trails in varied geographies and populations; once these are passed only then does the drug go into production. For a pharma company it is a huge investment and a risk, till the drug hits production and then the pharmacies.

But regardless of the risks, Adar Poonawala, CEO, Serum institute has decided to go ahead with the research. He quotes “If trails are successful, the Corona virus vaccine will be sold for Rs. 1000/-“– an extremely powerful and positive statement by him in these times of need. As quoted in Business Today

The Pune, India based Serum Institute of India (SII) was founded in the year 1966 by Cyrus Poonawalla. With a commendable track record of being one of the largest drug manufacturers in India, with production figures showing 1.5 billion doses produced annually reaching 65% of the children worldwide, SII is a force to reckon with.

Adar Poonawalla’s SII in partnership with Oxford university, has already initiated the production of Corona Vaccine, even when the serum is in advanced stages of trail. The Corona vaccine has started clinical trials in UK. There is a reason why the CEO jump started the production of the vaccine. Adar Poonawalla feels, once the approval is given by the clinical trials, he will be able to immediately roll out the vaccine which is return will help humanity around the globe to get back to normal. It’s the ability and skills of SII’s research team and world-renowned Oxford university which puts the wind under Adar Poonawalla’s wings.

As per estimates, once the trials are through the first batch of doses should be ready by September/ October 2020. An ambitious plan by any means. But Adar Poonawalla has taken up the challenge. Considering the urgency of rolling out the Corona Vaccine, a production facility was needed. But challenges can be solved in a snap of fingers when the leader is creative. SO, the solution was to convert and already existing to cater to the production of Corona vaccine. The objective is to produce 4-5 million doses per month, with an expectation to scale up to 10 million doses per month.

With all the arrangements in place, all the eyes are on the results of the clinical trials. There is some good news on the horizon, scientists at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, US, reported that six rhesus monkeys inoculated with the Oxford University vaccine and then exposed to heavy quantities of the novel coronavirus “were healthy” 28 days later. The vaccine has also been tested on around 320 people so far, and seems to be safe and well-tolerated. Around 1,110 people will take part in the trial, half receiving the vaccine and the other half (the control group) receiving a widely available meningitis vaccine. The results, in the pipeline, is surely going to be a game changer.

H G Wells rightly said “If we don’t end wars. Wars will end us” – an apt quote in these times of pandemic. With all the front line warriors working to endlessly to flatten the curve, one has to applaud the efforts Serum Institute of India for its zeal and focused efforts to create a Corona Vaccine which is not only affordable but should be available soon.

Kindly, like, share & comment, encourage the leaders of India to make our country proud in the global landscape. Lets fight Corona crises together.

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