India's Shilpa Medicare to produce Cadila's COVID-19 shot

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The word "COVID-19" is reflected in a drop on a syringe needle in this illustration taken November 9, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

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BENGALURU, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Indian drugmaker Shilpa Medicare Limited (SHME.NS) said on Friday it had agreed to produce Cadila Healthcare Ltd's (CADI.NS) three-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

The country's health authorities had given emergency approval in August for Cadila's vaccine, the world's first COVID-19 DNA shot, in adults and children aged 12 years and above. read more

Cadila, which is expected to begin supplying its vaccine from next month, aims to make 100 million to 120 million doses of ZyCoV-D a year.

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While India's vaccination programme aims to inoculate all eligible adults by December, the country also expects to resume exports to meet its commitments under the global COVAX initiative from October to December.

Shilpa Medicare said its unit will make the vaccine's drug substance, while Cadila will package, distribute and market the shot.

The targeted production of the ZyCoV-D vaccine from Shilpa Medicare's facility in Karnataka has not been disclosed. Cadila and Shilpa Medicare did not immediately respond to Reuters requests seeking details on the deal.

A government source told Reuters last week that Cadila Healthcare will supply 10 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in October.

Shilpa Medicare also produces the Russian Sputnik V vaccine under an agreement with Indian pharma giant Dr. Reddy's Laboratories (REDY.NS).

Shares of Shilpa Medicare, which rose about 2% after the announcement, were last down about 0.6%. Cadila Healthcare's shares were unchanged.

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Reporting by Shivani Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M. and Arun Koyyur

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