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Shantha Biotech vaccine unit on stream

By Our Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD, SEPT. 28. The new GMP compliant vaccine manufacturing complex of Shantha Biotechnics, comprising three production suites and an utility block, was inaugurated by the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, at Medchal near here on Tuesday.

Designed by consultants from Germany and built at a cost of Rs. 40 crores, the 80,000 sq. ft. facility would enable Shantha Biotechnics to produce several types of vaccines, and has an installed capacity of 300 million doses of each vaccine, according to Varaprasad Reddy, Managing Director.

The MD said the facility would produce DTP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) vaccine initially. These antigens would be conjugated with the Hepatitis B vaccine to make a combo DTP-HepB vaccine. The company has successfully completed the formulation of the combo vaccine that would soon roll out from this facility. In addition, the company planned to have a comprehensive vaccine portfolio to service markets in developing countries, he said.

Addressing a gathering, Mr. Reddy said introduction of the first indigenously produced combo DTP-hep B vaccine by them would strengthen their efforts to meet growing global demand for therapies. The new facility is part of their strategy to position itself as the largest supplier of Hepatitis B vaccine to UN agencies. He announced donation of one lakh Shanvac B (Hepatitis) vaccines for administration to children during the Chief Minister's `Rajiv Pallelabata'. The Chief Minister on his part stressed the need for the industry to non-compromisingly focus on quality and R&D, and to meet international standardisation levels.

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