Indian pharma major to supply vaccines to Egypt

Bangalore, June 28 (IANS) Leading Indian biopharmaceutical firm Biological E Ltd. will supply to Egypt pentavalent vaccines - a combination of five vaccines-in-one (against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and haemophilus influenza type B) in a single dose.

"We have entered into $200-million contract with the state-run Vacsera and its subsidiary Egyvac to manufacture and supply pentavelant vaccines to Egypt for 10 years," company spokesman Narender Mantena said in a statement here Friday.

The six-decade old Hyderabad-based life sciences firm develops, manufactures and markets innovative vaccines and biologics for healthcare needs in India and overseas.

Egypt consumes about eight million doses of liquid pentavalent vaccine every year to treat various diseases.

Egyptian Health Minister Mohamed Mostafa Hamed has endorsed the agreement.

"Since the World Health Organisation (WHO) pre-qualified our pentavalent vaccine in 2012, we started exporting the product to many countries the world over," Mantena said.

The company recently entered into a five-year pact with Gavi for its joint venture with the British pharma major GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) plc to develop and commercialise the IPV (inactivated polio vaccine) containing Hexavalent vaccine.

Gavi, formerly the global alliance for vaccines and immunisation, is a public-private global health partnership to save children by increasing access to immunisation.

The company also has strategic partnerships with international biotech and pharma firms and research institutes to develop new vaccines for domestic and export markets.

As a holding company for biological products and vaccines in Egypt, Vacsera is the only producer of vaccines and sera (serum) in West Asia and Africa and one of the main blood banks in the region.