With upgrades, India to reopen 3 vaccine plants

An Indian company known for making condoms has completed upgrades on a vaccine plant there and is nearing completion on two others.

It has only recently been disclosed that HLL Lifecare, formerly Hindustan Latex, has been overseeing the work, reports rediff business, a disclosure it says has been a surprise to some. HLL still makes condoms but also operates hospital chains, diagnostic clinics and MRI centers in India.

The plants all had their licenses pulled in 2008 because of quality problems, leading to a shortage of some vaccines at the time, according to in-PharmaTechnologist.

The government is investing about $37 million in the project. That is about half the cost of the upgrades at the Central Research Institute in Kasauli, the Bacillus Calmette-Guerin Vaccine Laboratory in Guindy, and the Pasteur Institute of India, in Coonoor, rediff reports. Additional funds will come from institutional investors. And while government-owned facilities usually stick to common vaccines like DPT, the plan is for the reopened plants to manufacture a variety of vaccines, including those for hepatitis B, influenza. and rabies.

While strides have been made in recent years in the development and manufacturing of vaccines, the world continues to have huge unmet needs in many areas.

- read the rediff business story
- get the in-PharmaTechnologist story