Timing is fortuitous, allow us to expand capacity for COVID-19 vaccine, said BE MD Mahima Datla
Hyderabad-based pharmaceuticals and biologics company Biological E. (BE) has announced the acquisition of Akorn India, a subsidiary of U.S. firm Akorn Inc.
The acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, comes days after BE entered into an agreement with Johnson & Johnson firm Janssen Pharmaceutica, whose COVID-19 vaccine candidate (Ad26.COV2.S) is undergoing clinical trials.
Describing it as a strategic acquisition, BE said it is in the process of developing a COVID-19 vaccine and may be able to use the facilities at Akorn India’s plant in Paonta Sahib, Himachal Pradesh for commercial scale manufacture of the vaccine at the appropriate time.
“The timing of this acquisition is fortuitous as it will immediately allow us to expand our capacity to manufacture our investigational COVID-19 vaccine,” Biological E Managing Director Mahima Datla said.
“We would leverage BE’s and Akorn India’s capabilities to enhance our supply capacities both in vaccines and in generic injectables. With these capacities, we would be in a position to offer over one billion doses per annum,” she said.
Akorn plant has a fully staffed sterile injectable manufacturing facility with a 39,000 sq mtrs of built up area spread over a 14-acre campus. It has a capacity for about 135 million units with the potential for immediate expansion of a further 30 million units.
Director of BE subsidiary BioE Holdings Inc Narender Dev Mantena, who heads BE’s novel vaccines initiative, said Akorn India is known for its injectables and speciality sterile pharmaceuticals capabilities.
“This acquisition will allow us to expand our capacities to meet the increasing demands of our specialty generic injectables for the U.S. and EU customers. This acquisition will pave a new way for BE and add a significant value for our business operations and global supply of our products,” he said.