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US DFC to extend $50-million vaccine assistance to Biological E


HYDERABAD: As part of the Quad vaccine partnership, the United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) will extend financial assistance to the tune of $50 million to Hyderabad-based Biological E Ltd to help the vaccine maker ramp up its capacities to make over 1 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines by 2022 end. DFC’s chief operating officer David Marchick and Biological E’s managing director Mahima Datla will sign on the dotted line of the agreement on Monday in Hyderabad. The formalisation of the financing agreement comes over six months after the US government announced its decision to extend assistance to the Indian vaccine maker after the Quad Leaders’ Summit, held virtually in March 2021. The Quad is an informal strategic forum comprising India, the US, Japan and Australia that aims at countering China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region. Biological E has already been roped in by US pharma major Johnson & Johnson to manufacture over 500 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine per annum. J&J had inked the pact in August 2020 for making doses of the single-shot Janssen Covid-19 vaccine in India. Biological E managing director Datla had told TOI earlier that the Quad initiative would offer “broad support to Bio E to increase capacities” both for the J&J vaccine and the one it is developing in collaboration with Houston-based Baylor College of Medicine after it gets World Health Organization prequalification.


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