Home HEALTH monkeypox: Serum Institute on lookout for partners to develop Monkeypox vaccine

monkeypox: Serum Institute on lookout for partners to develop Monkeypox vaccine

Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine maker, has initiated discussions with partners for developing a vaccine against Monkeypox.

SII’s CEO Adar Poonawalla told ET he was talking with partners who have the potential to develop the vaccine. He, however, said there was no need to rush and they are assessing the situation.

He said SII will wait and see how the situation pans out in the next 2-3 months. “We are talking to our partners and we are still to assess whether it will be required because there are very few cases at the moment,” he said.

“Since it is not as infectious as Covid-19 and other diseases, so we have to decide whether we put in investments and efforts towards it. We are already talking to our partners who have the potential to develop it, and we will wait and see in the next 2-3 months,” he told ET.

Pune-based SII is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by number of doses produced and sold globally (more than 1.5 billion doses) which includes Polio vaccine, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Hib, BCG, r-Hepatitis B, Measles, Mumps, Rubella as well as Pneumococcal and Covid-19 vaccines.

Danish biotechnology company Bavarian Nordic (BAVA.CO) is the only company so far that has received permission from the European Commission for its Imvanex vaccine to be marketed as protection against Monkeypox, as recommended last week by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

India has so far reported four cases of Monkeypox – three from Kerala and one from Delhi. The case identified in Delhi has no history of foreign travel. He, however, went on a trip with his male friends to Himachal Pradesh on June 26 and caught fever on July 5. The World Health Organization has declared the global Monkeypox outbreak a ‘public health emergency of international concern’, one step below the pandemic. Observational studies say that vaccination against smallpox is effective against preventing monkeypox.