Emcure Pharma testing mRNA COVID-19 vaccine "comparable to Pfizer and Moderna"

Homegrown pharma major Emcure Pharmaceuticals is testing mRNA vaccines for COVID-19. Founder Satish Mehta told YourStory that the vaccines would be "absolutely comparable" to those of Pfizer and Moderna and can be stored more easily.

Pune-based Emcure Pharmaceuticals is bullish about scientific innovation and its next big bet is mRNA vaccines for COVID-19, the company's Founder and MD Satish Mehta told YourStory.

“We are working on it (mRNA vaccines), and it will be absolutely comparable to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines,” Emcure MD Satish Mehta told YourStory Founder Shradha Sharma in an interview.

The pharma major is believed to be on track to deliver 60 million doses of the mRNA vaccine (which is being developed by its subsidiary Gennova) by the end of this year. Unlike mRNA vaccines of its global peers, the Emcure vaccine, which is currently undergoing Phase 1 trials, can be stored in temperatures from 2 to 8 degrees.

Emcure Pharma Founder & MD Satish Mehta in conversation with YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma

Media reports also suggest that the pharma company is in the process of submitting data to the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and applying for permits for the next phase of trials.

We're a biopharma company, which grew on the back of chemistry. Our next growth will come from biosimilars and vaccines,” says the founder. 

Emcure, which began as a contract manufacturer for multinational pharma giants in 1981, is also gearing up for a Rs, 4,000 crore IPO.

The homegrown pharma major is a globally diversified empire today, with a network of 19 subsidiaries, an R&D team of 500 scientists, and a 11,000-strong global workforce.

It also has 4,600 medical representatives that are taking "modern medicine" to all parts of India. Emcure revenues are touching nearly Rs 6,000 crore, according to CRISIL. The company owns a 2.8 percent share of India's $20 billion pharma market.

Satish says, “The domestic market is about is pegged to reach $35 billion in seven to eight years. Even if we have a 3.2 percent share in India alone, one can aspire to become a billion-dollar company. So, you can imagine [the growth potential].”

Despite the increased attention on healthcare companies, India’s per capita pharma consumption is still very low. However, expenditure on the sector is poised to grow from 1.6 percent to 2.5 percent of GDP, according to the last Union Budget.


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