Serum Institute of India (SII) chief executive officer Adar Poonawalla has said that India should have a coronavirus vaccine by December 2020. Poonwalla also said that the final pricing of the vaccine being developed by Oxford University and British-Swedish pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca will be announced in the next couple of months. SII is the world's largest vaccine manufacturer by volume.
"We are going to start trials in less than two weeks. The trial is in partnership with ICMR. We will start manufacturing vaccines by the end of August," Poonawalla told CNBC TV-18 on Monday.
"We will conduct trials in India on a few thousand patients in partnership with the ICMR," Poonawalla added. The company has plans to produce 300 million to 400 million doses by December this year, he had earlier said.
Meanwhile, SII last week had said that it has entered into a partnership with Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to produce 100 million vaccine doses for India and other low income countries. SII already partners AstraZeneca and Novavax to develop their coronavirus candidates.
"The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, via its Strategic Investment Fund, will provide at-risk funding of US$150 million to Gavi, which will be used to support the SII to manufacture the potential vaccine candidates. Vaccines will be priced at maximum US$ 3 per dose and made available to the 92 countries included in Gavi's COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC)," SII had said in a statement.