INDIA – The Serum Institute of India (SII) is set to invest more than US $68.2 million in Oxford Biomedica plc, a biotech group based in the United Kingdom, to fund construction of a facility that will manufacture COVID-19 vaccines.
The British biotech firm has announced an investment from world’s largest Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine manufacturer by volume.
The biotech company anticipates receiving an investment from SII of just over US $68 million, which will be used to fund the development of Oxbox, its 84,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Oxford.
With this deal, Oxford Biomedica’s investment portfolio is set to increase. Already, COVID-19 vaccine production increased Oxford’s revenue by 139 percent in the six months ended June 30 compared to the previous period a year ago.
Serum’s investment comes four months after Oxford Biomedica doubled its sales projections from AstraZeneca to more than US $100 million in the first half of 2021, up from US $46.4 million in the first half of last year.
“Serum Institute of India has played a big part in the fight against COVID-19, as have we, and we look forward to a strong and collaborative relationship,” said chief executive John Dawson.
Serum Institute of India is the world’s major vaccine manufacturer by volume, the largest supplier to the international Covax program, and a producer of the AstraZeneca vaccine. It has bilateral supply agreements with several countries, including the United Kingdom.
Oxford Biomedica expects to continue expanding the capacity of its world-class facilities in anticipation of rising global demand, as its new partner will provide industry-leading capabilities.
“Serum Life Sciences is delighted to have a strategic partnership with Oxford Biomedica with the aim of building long-term capacity in the UK,” said Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive Officer of Serum Institute of India.
As part of the agreement, Serum Life Sciences, a division of SII, will acquire a 3.9 percent stake in Oxford Biomedica.
This is Serum’s second deal in as many weeks after the company unveiled an agreement allowing it to purchase a 15 percent stake in Indian drugmaker Biocon’s biologics unit valued at $4.9 billion.
The deal allows Serum to access 100 million doses of vaccines per year, including COVID-19 vaccines.