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Bharat Bio launches typhoid vaccines

Our Bureau

BANGALORE, May 9

HYDERABAD-BASED Bharat Biotech has launched Typbar, the indigenously manufactured new generation typhoid vaccine.

According to its CMD, Dr Krishna Ella, the single-shot Vi capsular polysaccharide vaccine is part of Bharat's target to produce 10 affordable vaccines over the next three-five years. In the pipeline are vaccines for rabies, Japanese encephalitis, malaria and rotavirus.

The rabies vaccine, to be priced Rs 100 or almost a third of the prevalent prices, is undergoing clinical trials and would be launched in the next three-four months. The plan is to bring out combinations like DTP with malaria and others, Dr Ella told a news conference here.

An investment of Rs 125 crore has been made in new USFDA-approved facilities at Hyderabad. "We want to be the regional leader in fighting infectious diseases," Dr Ella said.

Typbar, produced with an investment of Rs 17 crore, is the second vaccine from Bharat after its successful hepatitis B vaccine, Revac-B, launched in 1998.

Dr Ella said Typbar, with an MRP tag of Rs 175, could be eventually priced lower. In a field of five players selling imported typhoid vaccines, Bharat Biotech would aim at capturing a market of at least Rs 10-15 crore in the first year.

Worldwide, an estimated 16 million people catch typhoid each year and about 6 lakh succumb to it. India is an endemic region for typhoid, with an estimated 6 million cases of the fever reported annually.

Dr Ella said the company is in touch with the Health Departments of various states for fighting the disease. The domestic market for typhoid vaccines stands at Rs 27 crore with a potential of Rs 60 crore. Exports to South-Asian and developing countries may start in two years.

The plant has an installed capacity for 50 million doses a year and a new delivery system will be introduced shortly for it. The vaccine strain was got from Dr John Robbins of the National Institute of Health, US, who is dubbed the father of polysaccharide vaccines.

Research venture

BHARAT Biotech and Bangalore-based Vydehi Institute of Medical Sciences have announced a 50:50 joint venture clinical research organisation with an investment of Rs 20 crore. The unit will be based in Bangalore.

This will be a unique CRO positioned for global drug R&D, developing effective protocols for new molecules. It will also train doctors in global guidelines for clinical research, said the CMD of Bharat Bio, Dr Krishna Ella.

Bharat Bio is also planning to set up a manufacturing facility in Bangalore and the details would be announced in the coming months, Dr Ella said.

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