Gland Pharma to repurpose vaccine unit for biologics contract mfg

Informist, Monday, May 23, 2022


By Narayana Krishna


HYDERABAD – As the COVID-19 portfolio is no longer seen as an attractive proposition, Gland Pharma Ltd has put on hold its plans to manufacture Sputnik vaccine and is exploring the possibility of using its newly created infrastructure to make biologic drugs for others, a source told Informist.


In March last year, Gland Pharma signed a pact with Russian Direct Investment Fund to make 250 mln doses of Sputnik V vaccine. The company invested about 2.7 bln rupees on two manufacturing lines to make the vaccine vials.


The company, owned by China’s Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group, had also acquired Hyderabad-based Vitane Boilogics Pvt Ltd for 900 mln rupees to boost its COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing and announced plans to export the vaccine to over 100 countries.


After the two-dose Sputnik V vaccine was replaced by the single dose Sputnik Light, the company even produced validation batches and submitted them for regulatory approvals.


It also had plans to provide "fill and finish" assignments for other vaccine makers using the newly created facility.


However, even as the company was in the process of obtaining approvals, the pandemic situation subsided, reducing demand for the vaccine.


The Russia-Ukraine conflict and the resulting sanctions on Russian Direct Investment Fund further complicated Gland Pharma's vaccine plans.


Considering the market conditions, the company is now exploring contract development and manufacturing operations opportunities in the biologics space, the source said.


Vaccine manufacturing facilities can be used for biologics products with minor configuration changes in the machinery.


The company is talking to a few companies in the biologics space and customers are also visiting the facility for due diligence, the source said.


While the vaccine making plans have been put off for now, the company still wants to dedicate one manufacturing line for vaccines out of the two it has currently, the source said.


A recent report by brokerage Nomura said the Ukraine-Russia conflict could prevent the vaccine from getting approval from the World Health Organization and regulators in many countries.


At 1229 IST, Shares of Gland Pharma traded 0.8% higher at 3,082.80 rupees on the National Stock Exchange.  End


IST, or Indian Standard Time, is five-and-a-half hours ahead of GMT


Edited by Akul Nishant Akhoury 



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