Hester Biosciences gets Rs 60 crore grant from govt to make Covaxin drug substance
Hester Biosciences on Thursday said it got a grant of Rs 60 crores from the government’s Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) to manufacture Covid vaccine under Mission Covid Suraksha. BIRAC is part of the Department of Biotechnology. Hester said its Board has approved the execution of Grantin-Aid Letter Agreement for grant of Rs 60 crore in a phased manner to the company by BIRAC. The Ahmedabad-based poultry and animal vaccine maker is a part of Gujarat Covid Vaccine Consortium (GCVC), which in May 2021 signed an agreement with Bharat Biotech for manufacture of Covaxin drug substance. As per the agreement, Hester will supply the drug substance to Bharat Biotech which will then do the fill-finish at its facilities. Hester is investing Rs 100 crore on the project, which will enable it to produce 5-7 million doses of the Covaxin drug substance every month. Hester was supposed to roll out the Covaxin drug substance in April this year, but Rajiv Gandhi, CEO of Hester Biosciences, told ET that the project has been delayed by two months.