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HYDERABAD: Hyderabad based vaccine manufacturer Biological E, which is currently conducting clinical trials on a Covid-19 vaccine candidate, has announced acquiring Akorn India with injectables and specialty sterile pharmaceuticals manufacturing capabilities in Himachal Pradesh.

BE, which manufactures specialty generic injectable medicines apart from vaccines, said the strategic buyout will help it enhance manufacturing capabilities and capacities to produce and supply its vaccines and injectable medicines.

The Hyderabad headquartered vaccine maker, which is in the process of developing a Covid-19 vaccine, said it may use the Akorn India facility at Paonta Sahib in Himachal Pradesh for commercial scale production of the Covid-19 vaccine at an appropriate time.

Akorn India, a subsidiary of the US-based Akorn Inc., has a manufacturing plant of 39,000 square metres over a 14-acre campus in Himachal Pradesh with an annual capacity for about 135 million units. BE said the Akorn India facility has the potential for immediate expansion of a further 30 million units.

“We would leverage BE’s and Akorn India’s capabilities to enhance our supply capacities both in vaccines and in generic injectables,” said Mahima Datla, Managing Director, Biological E. “The timing of this acquisition is fortuitous as it will immediately allow us to expand our capacity to manufacture our investigational COVID-19 vaccine. With these capacities, we would be in a position to offer over 1 billion doses per annum.”

Narender Dev Mantena, Director, BioE Holdings Inc., who heads BE’s novel vaccines initiative, said the acquisition enables BE to expand its capacities to meet the increasing demands of its specialty generic injectables for the US and EU customers. “This acquisition will pave a new way for BE and add a significant value for our business operations and global supply of our products.”