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Leading Covid-19 Fight At Bharat Biotech

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Suchitra Ella, 

Joint MD, Bharat Biotech International
age: 59
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Suchitra K. Ella, co-founder and joint MD, Bharat Biotech International (BBIL), led initiatives that led to development of India’s first indigenous Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin. The virus strain was isolated by ICMR’s National Institute of Virology lab in Pune.
Suchitra K. Ella met the challenges of mass-producing the vaccine head-on. The company required about 10,000 sq. metres to make 200 million doses annually. Due to the highly contagious nature of the live SARS-CoV-2 virus, the company needed more stringent Biosafety Level-3 containment facilities. Every batch had to go through more than 200 quality control tests prior to release. BBIL invested over ₹375 crore for developing Covaxin. It increased capacity across multiple facilities in Hyderabad and Bangalore to reach 700 million doses a year, one of the largest capacities for inactivated viral vaccines worldwide. Lancet published the safety and efficacy profile of Covaxin in November last year. Soon, BBIL was granted Emergency Use Listing by World Health Organization.
Covaxin has also helped BBIL improve revenues. Crisil says BBIL recorded substantial improvement in revenues in H1 FY22 to ₹3,076.5 crore (FY21 revenues were ₹1,385.99 crore and net profit ₹401.52 crore).