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Thursday, May 04, 2006

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Panacea ties up with Dutch vaccine institute

Our Bureau

To make injectible polio vaccines, invest Rs 40 cr on a new formulation plant

MR RAJESH JAIN (right), Joint Managing Director, Panacea Biotech Ltd, with Mr Thijs Veerman, General Director, Nederlands Vaccin Instituut, at a press conference in the Capital on Wednesday. — Kamal Narang

New Delhi , May 3

Pharma major, Panacea Biotech Ltd (PBL), has announced a tie-up with Nederlands Vaccin Instituut (NVI) to make injectible polio vaccines.

As per the agreement, NVI will supply bulk inactivated polio vaccines (IPV), which would be used by Panacea Biotech to manufacture the finished IPV and a number of IPV-based combination vaccines.

PBL will register the products both in India and abroad, where itwill market the vaccine barring the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Finland.

"The collaboration will substantially enhance the scale and size of the business," Panacea Biotech Joint Managing Director, Mr Rajesh Jain, said.

The estimated demand for IPV is around 150 million doses and is likely to increase to 800 million doses by 2011. The expected market size is around $1 billion , he said.

Mr Jain added that the company will be investing Rs 40 crore on a new vaccine formulation plant at Baddi in Himachal Pradesh.

"The plant will be up and running by April 2007 and will manufacture injectibles and oral vaccines. It will have a capacity of 800 million doses annually on a single shift," he said.

Mr Jain also said the company will be investing around Rs 20 crore in expanding its research and development centre in Mumbai.

"These projects will be funded through the $100 million FCCB issue that we raised in February," he said.

Eyeing foreign buys

"We are investing the money in new products and new facilities ... but currently we have no plans to raise (further) funds, as we see no need in the immediate future," Mr Jain said, adding the company was eyeing foreign acquisitions.

"We are looking at acquisitions in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology sector in North America and European Union, but nothing has been finalised yet."

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