New Delhi, Jan 23 (PTI) Vaccine major Serum Institute of India on Tuesday said it has joined CEPI network of vaccine producers to support rapid, agile, and equitable responses to future public health disease outbreaks.
As part of the collaboration, CEPI will be investing up to USD 30 million.
The investment will be to build upon SII's proven track record of rapid response to outbreaks of infectious disease, expanding the company's existing ability to swiftly supply investigational vaccines in the face of epidemic and pandemic threats, according to a statement.
This would then enable CEPI-backed vaccine developers to quickly transfer their technology to SII within days or weeks of an outbreak to begin rapid production and equitable distribution of affordable vaccines to affected populations.
"This collaboration will enable us to respond more rapidly and equitably to public health disease outbreaks, particularly in Global South countries where access to life-saving vaccines can be limited," Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla said in a statement.
With CEPI's funding, SII will support the development, stockpiling and licensure of new vaccines against CEPI's priority pathogens, the Pune-based firm said.
CEPI and SII are exploring which CEPI-backed vaccines SII will support, it added.
"Living in an era of heightened epidemic and pandemic risk, evidenced by the increasing prevalence, speed, and spread of outbreaks of infectious disease, we must prepare to confront these threats head-on to avoid another COVID-like catastrophe in the future," CEPI CEO Richard Hatchett stated.
SII becomes the fourth member of CEPI's global manufacturing network.
Other members are Aspen in South Africa, Institut Pasteur de Dakar in Senegal, and Bio Farma in Indonesia.
CEPI is a partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil organisations, which was launched at Davos in 2017. PTI MSS SHW