Hope to start supply of ZyCoV-D vaccine by mid to end Sept: Zydus Group MD

Zydus Cadila is looking to supply its needle-free three-dose COVID-19 vaccine ZyCoV-D by the middle to end of September.
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Drug firm Zydus Cadila on Saturday said it is looking to supply its COVID-19 vaccine ZyCoV-D by the middle to end of September, adding the pricing of the dose will be announced in the next one or two weeks.

The company's indigenously developed needle-free three-dose COVID-19 vaccine, ZyCoV-D, was granted emergency use authorisation (EUA) by the Drugs Controller General of India on Friday, making it the first vaccine to be administered to beneficiaries in the age group of 12-18 years in the country.

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"Post the emergency use authorisation, now we will work closely with the regulatory authorities to work on the pricing and modality of delivery of the doses of our vaccine. In next one or two weeks we will have better clarity on the pricing," Zydus Group Managing Director Sharvil Patel said in a virtual press conference.

The company hopes that "by middle to end of September, we can start supplying the vaccines, and as I said, we need to scale up to one crore doses and we believe by October we can achieve this. We believe by October we will start producing one crore doses and that would mean by end of Jan we can have four to five crore doses," he added.

Asked if the company was considering partnering with other firms to scale up production of its vaccine, Patel said Zydus Cadila is actively looking at ramping up manufacturing both domestically through partnerships and also outside of the country.

The company is also seeking approval for a two-dose regimen of the vaccine, he added.

Describing the approval for Zydus Cadila's vaccine as a momentous feat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet on Friday had said, "India is fighting COVID-19 with full vigour. The approval for the world's first DNA based ''ZyCov-D'' vaccine of Zydus Cadila is a testimony to the innovative zeal of India's scientists. A momentous feat indeed."

ZyCoV-D is the sixth vaccine to get the emergency use authorisation in the country, after Serum Institute of India's Covishield, Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, Russian vaccine Sputnik V, and the vaccines of Moderna and Johnson and Johnson.

Of these, Covishield, Covaxin, and Sputnik V are currently in use in India. These vaccines are being given to only those above 18 years of age and unlike ZyCoV-D, which has three doses, these are administered in two doses.

"This is a historic milestone with ZyCoV-D, a product of Indian innovation becoming the world's first DNA vaccine being offered for human use and supporting the world's largest immunization drive," Cadila Healthcare Chairman Pankaj R Patel had said on Friday.

The company plans to manufacture 10-12 crore doses of ZyCoV-D annually, Zydus Cadila had said in a statement.

"We are particularly happy that our vaccine will contribute to this fight against COVID-19 and enable the country to vaccinate a larger population especially in the age group of 12-18 years.

"I would like to thank all the researchers, clinical trial investigators, volunteers and the regulators who have supported this endeavour," the Cadila Healthcare chairman had added.

Edited by Kanishk Singh