India's two famous rival pharma companies 'Bharat Biotech' and 'Serum Institute of India' have forgotten their differences and joined hands to work together. The collaboration of these companies has taken place to eradicate polio at the global level. It is noteworthy that these two firms had made Corona vaccines 'Covishield' and 'Covaxin', whose quality had led to bitter statements from both sides.

Campaign to eradicate polio
Under this tie-up, Hyderabad company 'Bharat Biotech' will sell the drug substance of its oral polio vaccine named 'Biopolio' to Pune company 'Serum Institute of India'. India's subsidiary Bilthoven Biologicals BV, this subsidiary is based in the Netherlands.

Benefits of partnership
The purpose of this partnership is to strengthen the production and supply security of Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) in the fight against polio as the world's target is to globally eradicate this disease. Bharat Biotech, a leading global manufacturer of OPV, can produce up to 500 million doses annually by sourcing the drug substance from suppliers.

An official announcement on 2 April 2024 revealed that Bharat Biotech and subsidiary Bilthoven Biologicals BV have jointly acquired regulatory approval and license for commercial oral polio vaccine manufacturing in India to meet the needs of both domestic and international markets. An agreement has been signed.

First dispute, now friendship
This tie-up marks a significant change in the relationship between the two companies, which was announced by Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla in January 2021 for Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca-Oxford's Covishield. AstraZeneca-Oxford's Covishield) after raising questions over the efficacy of other Covid vaccines. 'Serum Institute' produces Covishield, while 'Bharat Biotech' produces Covaxin.

PMO had got the reconciliation done
It is noteworthy that Dr. Krishna Ella, founder of 'Bharat Biotech', had responded by questioning the quality of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine trial. After the intervention of the PMO, the two companies reconciled and promised to cooperate in COVID-19 vaccine development, manufacturing, and supply.

Reflecting on the new partnership, Dr. Krishna Ella emphasized the importance of OPV in global efforts to eradicate polio. He said, "Oral polio vaccine has been an important part of the government's universal immunization program for many decades, 'Bharat Biotech' is one of the largest suppliers of vaccination programs across the world."

On his part, Poonawala expressed his company's commitment to eradicate polio worldwide through joint efforts with 'Bharat Biotech'. He said, "This partnership is an important step towards reducing the impact of this deadly disease on vulnerable populations."

(PC: Freepik)