Cadila Healthcare, also known as Zydus Cadila, has taken one more step towards augmenting the production capacity for its DNA-based Covid vaccine known as ZyCoV-D by inking an agreement with Shilpa Medicare.
Under the agreement, Shilpa Medicare Ltd will use its biologics manufacturing plant at Dharwad, Karnataka, to manufacture ZyCoV-D.
ZyCoV-D is the world’s first vaccine that works by tweaking the human DNA to get human cells to produce parts of the COVID-19 virus. This leads to an immune reaction within the body, which produces virus antibodies.
Because such DNA-based vaccines are not produced for human beings anywhere else in the world, it is also difficult to find optimal manufacturing plants to make the various ingredients used in the vaccine.
As such, Zydus is tying up with companies who have the specialized capacity required to make these vaccines or its components.
“The targeted production of the ZyCoV-D vaccine from this facility will be mutually agreed upon by both parties. SBPL’s
facility at Dharwad would cater to the requirements of the fast-growing biologics filed, that include the DNA vaccine, adenoviral, subunit vaccines, monoclonal antibodies & fusion proteins,” Zydus Cadila said.
It was around a month ago that Zydus got an emergency approval for the ZyCoV-D vaccine.
Last month, the company also said it had started stockpiling the vaccine.
Cadila has identified two facilities, a drug substance plant and a drug products plant, for manufacturing the DNA vaccine.
“Our current capacity, if we manufacture to the max, is between 10 mln and 15 mln doses monthly, which is not very large in terms of the overall need of the vaccination,” company MD Sharvil Patel had said last month. “We should be able to supply whatever we can make, because we’re talking about 1 cr doses or 1.5 cr doses, which is not very large from an overall requirement point of view.”