India restarts troubled vax facilities

Ready or not, India appears to be staging a comeback for the BCG Vaccine Lab in Chennai. Drug regulators there shut down the 60-year-old plant more than two years ago for noncompliance with WHO manufacturing standards.

Yet despite the lack of evidence for facility renovations, pilot production of Bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccine has begun; scientists in late July opened the seed lot system, which was kept in the cold storage after the lab's January 2008 shutdown. The Chennai ministry had ordered that the plant--and two other state-owned vaccine facilities--be renovated and brought up to par within three years, as reported.

The two other plants, in Kasauli and Coonoor, have completed the renovation work and construction of GMP facilities. They began production of various vaccines several months ago.

Officials hope the Chennai facility will be online by end of year.

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