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Modi reviews vaccine development at Zydus Cadila facility

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday visited pharma major Zydus Cadila’s manufacturing facility near Ahmedabad, as he began his three-city visit to review ongoing coronavirus vaccine development work.

Wearing a PPE kit, Modi reviewed the vaccine development process at the Zydus Cadila research centre in Changodar industrial area, over 20 km from Ahmedabad.

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After his arrival at Ahmedabad airport from Delhi shortly after 9 am, Modi flew to the Zydus Cadila plant and held discussions with the promoters and executives of the company, an official said.

Zydus Cadila has announced that the phase-I clinical trial of its vaccine candidate ZyCoV-D is over and it has commenced phase-II clinical trials from August.

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Modi was extensively briefed about the vaccine development work at the plant by the company officials. He was briefed about the vaccine production procedure. He interacted with scientists and vaccine developers, an official said.

Zydus Cadila chairman Pankaj Patel recently said the company is aiming to complete the vaccine trial by March 2021, and could produce up to 100 million doses a year.

Modi spent over an hour at the plant, before leaving for the airport, from where he left for Hyderabad at 11.40 am.

In Hyderabad, Modi is scheduled to visit vaccine maker Bharat Biotech’s facility.

After landing at Hakimpet Air Force station, Modi will reach Bharat Biotech’s facility at Genome Valley at 1.30 pm.

The facility is around 50 km from Hyderabad.

Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin is undergoing phase-3 trials.

After his hour-long visit to the facility, the PM will proceed to Pune, where he will visit the Serum Institute of India (SII), which has partnered with global pharma giant AstraZeneca and the Oxford University for the vaccine.

The prime minister will reach Serum Institute campus around 4.30 pm, an official said.

Modi’s hour-long visit to SII is aimed at reviewing the status of the vaccine candidate for coronavirus infection and to know about its launch, production and distribution mechanism, he said.

The PM will fly back to Delhi in the evening, the official said.

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