The race for developing and acquiring a COVID-19 vaccine is intensifying as the days go by and there’s a new frontrunner in the race today. Bangladesh’s leading pharmaceutical giant Beximco has announced that the company will be partnering with Adar Poonawalla owned Serum India Limited to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus. The size of the deal has not been disclosed by either of the companies yet. However, it is said that it will depend upon the priority supply commitment of the Serum India Limited towards Beximco Pharma Limited. According to a statement released by the Beximco Pharma Limited, the deal focuses upon delivering an agreed quantity of COVID-19 vaccine to Bangladesh.
The investment of the company in the Serum India Limited will be treated as an advance for vaccine development. The Principal of Beximco, Shayan F Rahman, says, “We at Beximco have been able to guarantee that once the vaccine is globally registered, Bangladesh will be one of the first countries to use it. It is a sign of the depth of relationship not just between Serum India and Beximco, but also between the two countries.” This deal was announced nearly 10 days after the Indian Foreign Secretary, Harsh Shringla, met with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka.
On August 19, Harsh Shringla said, “For us, Bangladesh is always a priority country. India produces 60% of the world’s vaccines. When the vaccine is produced, it goes without saying that our closest neighbors, friends, partners, and other countries will be part of that.”
Talking about Beximco, Adar Poonawalla said, “It will facilitate to secure the needs of the Government of Bangladesh by offering the opportunity to reserve desired quantities for priority supply at prices to be agreed between the Government of Bangladesh and Serum India Limited. The company will also secure additional quantities of the vaccine to be distributed in the private pay market in Bangladesh. This landmark agreement reflects the deep-rooted desire for collaboration between the two countries and as representatives of the two nations, between us, we can go a long way towards helping to mitigate the health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”