India can play a big role Covid vaccine manufacturing: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

BENGALURU: India has a big role to play in the global effort to manufacture a Covid-19 vaccine, said Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, executive chairperson of Biocon.

Speaking at the ET Global Townhall, the biopharma sector entrepreneur said the country’s science laboratories have already shown tremendous potential in developing Covid-19 testing kits during the past 3-4 months.

“Thanks to India’s vaccine industry, the (upcoming) vaccine (for Covid-19) will not be the prerogative and preserve of the affluent Western world…Serum Institute has already partnered with Oxford University well before AstraZeneca took over that programme. So Indian vaccine producers can play a very big role,” said Mazumdar-Shaw.

She added that India’s healthcare sector will be the next to achieve global recognition after the IT services industry.

“Life science is an innovation opportunity for India which we have not leveraged in the right way. Today, the spotlight is on the sector. I am sure we are going to be very much part of the global supply chain for healthcare. India has a huge opportunity to be an important part of the world’s healthcare resource,” she said.

The Biocon chief said it was time the country moved ahead with “a sense of confidence and resilience” to rebuild healthcare, in order to help India become a global leader in the sector.

Mazumdar-Shaw said the Covid-19 pandemic has also prompted the country to open up the clinical research space. “We have to rebuild the clinical research sector. This was a thriving sector 10 years ago.”


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