Bharat Bio, Serum smoke peace pipe PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 06 January 2021 03:57
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Bharat Biotech founder and CMD Krisha Ella and Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla on Tuesday issued a joint press release to signal all was well. At a press conference on Monday, Ella had sniped at SII without naming anyone. It is not clear if the government played a part in the rapprochement or whether the two vaccine-makers realised that giving the drugs regulator a bad name — by rubbishing each other’s product —was hurting both of them.
The statement said the two “communicated their combined intent to develop, manufacture and supply the Covid-19 vaccines for India and globally”. 
They added, “now that two Covid-19 vaccines have been issued EUA (emergency use authorisation) in India, the focus is on manufacturing, supply and distribution, such that populations that need it the most receive high quality, safe and efficacious vaccines”.
On Monday, Ella had responded to the critics questioning the conditional approval given to his Covaxin by saying even Serum’s Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine had not completed Phase 3 trials in India. He alleged the EU and the US had refused to give clearance to Oxford-AstraZeneca based on the UK trials as the data was not ‘clean’; while saying his firm would have been shut down if it had done a trial like Oxford-AstraZeneca – instead of a full dose, one group received a half-dose – he added that the Indian regulator gave its nod to the Indian vaccine in public interest. He added that, like his firm, Serum had not conducted Phase 3 trials either; so, if one vaccine was given a clearance, it was okay to clear the other as well.
While part of Ella’s outburst was triggered by the questioning of the clearance given to his vaccine while accepting the Serum-Oxford-AstraZeneca nod as kosher, some part of the bitterness was over an earlier statement by Poonawalla that only three vaccines – Pfizer, Moderna and his – had passed all tests while the rest were ‘safe like water’ but their efficacy had still not been tested.

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