Bangladesh-based drugmaker Beximco Pharma has signed a pact with the Serum Institute of India (SII) to acquire 30 million doses of the potential COVID-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca.
The SII is a front-runner for providing coronavirus vaccine AZD1222 to India and other low and middle-income groups because of a sub-licensing agreement with pharma major AstraZeneca.
Under the deal, Beximco will purchase five million doses of vaccine per month. As the vaccine becomes available the SII will give 30 million doses to Beximo in the first phase. The deal will enable Bangladesh to vaccinate nearly 15 million people as two shots of vaccine are required for each person 28 days apart, said Bangladesh Health Minister Zahid Maleque.
SII will supply the vaccine at a price of around $4 to $5 per dose. The company partnered with AstraZeneca and the Gates Foundation and the Gavi vaccine alliance to produce a billion COVID-19 vaccine for supply worldwide.
In September, SII expanded its alliance with Gavi and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to produce and deliver up to an additional 100 million doses for low-and middle-income countries (LMICs).