New Delhi: The Indian vaccine market, which has carved out a place for itself at the global level, is expected to reach a valuation of Rs 252 billion by 2025. The Indian market size was Rs 94 billion in 2019. Two coronavirus vaccine candidates, out of a total 11 worldwide that have entered the human trial phase, are from India.

According to a report by the International Market Analysis Research and Consulting (IMARC) Group, India currently is one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of vaccines in the world. “It solely accounts for around 60% of the total vaccines supplied to the UNICEF, since the cost of manufacturing and clinical trials in India is relatively lower than in developed countries. Moreover, technological advancements and improved cold chain storage facilities have led to increased vaccine production capacity in the country,” the latest IMARC report has said.

Since India has emerged as one of the significant vaccine manufacturing hubs of the world, the vaccine for Covid-19 may be developed anywhere in the world, but the production of required quantities may not be feasible without the involvement of Indian manufacturers, sources say. While two vaccine candidates that have entered the human trial phase, are from India nine are from other countries. Two firms working outside of India have inked an agreement with Indian manufacturers for production of Covid-19 vaccines, which shows the might of the Indian vaccine industry.

The IMARC report has segmented the Indian vaccine market on the basis of vaccine types. In 2019, varicella accounted for the maximum share of the total monovalent vaccine market in India, whereas oral polio accounted for the biggest share of the combined vaccine market in India.

The report has also analysed the competitive landscape and provides the profiles of the key players operating in the market. In 2019, GlaxoSmithKline represented the largest player in the Indian vaccine market. Other major players included Sanofi Aventis, Pfizer, Novartis and Serum Institute of India.

All over the world, more than 140 candidate vaccines for Covid-19 infection are under various stages of development. Out of them, 11 vaccine candidates have entered the human trial phase. Of the 11, two are Indian vaccine candidates.

One of the leading vaccine candidates in the world is AZD1222, developed by Jenner Institute of University of Oxford and licensed to AstraZeneca British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and bio-pharmaceutical company headquartered in Cambridge, England. While the MRNA-1273 vaccine developed by Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, Washington, and taken up for production by the US-based Moderna pharmaceutical, is just a step behind. Both these firms have inked agreements with Indian manufacturers for vaccine production.

Two Covid-19 vaccine candidates from India—Covaxin, developed by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Limited in collaboration with ICMR and the National Institute of Virology (NIV), and ZyCov-D vaccine by Zydus Cadila—recently got the nod for human clinical trials from the Drug Controller General of India. Both have been approved for Phase II, III trials.

“The nod given by the Drug Controller General of India CDSCO (the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation) for the conduct of the human trial for the vaccines, marks the beginning of the end,” reads a letter by the Ministry of Science and Technology.

“Several institutions have also engaged in research and development for the development of vaccines in India. With the primary scientific inputs coming from institutions like Pune-based ICMR institution National Institute of Virology and Hyderabad-based CSIR institution Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology, six Indian companies are working on a vaccine for Covid-19,” the Ministry said.

Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin uses the virus isolated from an Indian patient by the National Institute of Virology to develop the inactivated virus vaccine. Bharat Biotech has earlier developed vaccines against polio, rotavirus, Japanese encephalitis and Zika.