Africa

Africa: Serum Institute of India Ships Its First Set of R21/Matrix-M™ Malaria Vaccine Doses to Africa


PUNE, India —

  • Distribution of R21/Matrix-M™️ Malaria Vaccine across the African region marks a significant step in the global fight against malaria. The initial shipment will be sent to the Central African Republic (CAR), followed by other African countries such as South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo in the next coming days 
  • Out of the total 1,63,800 doses specifically allocated for the CAR region, only 43,200 doses will be dispatched today from Serum Institute of India’s facility 
  • Serum Institute of India (SII), Novavax, and the University of Oxford celebrate this milestone during an event attended by Hon. Eric Garcetti, US Ambassador to India, in Pune, India, highlighting the successful global partnership between the three countries 
  • Till now, Serum Institute of India has manufactured 25 million doses with a capacity to scale up to 100 million doses annually

Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines by number of doses, marks a significant milestone with the shipment of its first set of R21/Matrix-M™ malaria vaccine to Africa. The initial shipment will be sent to the Central African Republic (CAR), followed by other African countries such as South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo in the next coming days. In total, 1,63,800 doses of the R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine have been specifically allocated for CAR region, out of which only 43,200 doses will be dispatched today from Serum Institute of India’s facility.

Developed in collaboration with the University of Oxford and Novavax’s Matrix-M™ adjuvant, the R21//Matrix-M vaccine is the second malaria vaccine to be authorized for use in children in malaria-endemic regions.

The flag-off ceremony of the R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine took place at Serum Institute of India’s facility in Pune. Around the same time, notable dignitaries and US delegates, including the Hon. Eric Garcetti, US Ambassador to India; Dr. Mehreen Datoo, Associate Fellow, Clinical Lecturer in Infectious Diseases, Nuffield Department of Medicine University of Oxford; Silvia Taylor, Executive Vice President, Chief Corporate Affairs & Advocacy Officer, Novavax; and other distinguished guests, were present at SII for various engagements.

The R21/Matrix-M™ malaria vaccine, developed through collaboration between the Jenner Institute at Oxford University and the Serum Institute of India leveraging by Novavax’s saponin-based adjuvant technology, received support from the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), the Wellcome Trust, and the European Investment Bank (EIB). Till date, Serum Institute of India has manufactured 25 million doses with a capacity to scale up to 100 million doses annually.

“As two diverse democracies, the United States and India have flourishing private sectors that foster innovation, knowledge, and access to high-quality healthcare. The development of the R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine represents a great step forward in our battle against this deadly parasite.  The quality, affordable vaccines that will be produced through this partnership between Novavax and SII will prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths every year across the globe,” said the Hon. Eric Garcetti, US Ambassador to India.

Dr. Umesh Shaligram, Executive Director, R&D, Serum Institute of India said, “The shipment of the R21/Matrix-M™ Malaria Vaccine to Africa marks a momentous milestone in our collective fight against this life-threatening disease. This achievement is a testament to the power of collaboration and the efforts of our dedicated workforce at the Serum Institute of India, working in partnership with Novavax and the University of Oxford. As we embark on this critical mission to protect the most vulnerable members of our global community, we remain committed to our core values of innovation, affordability, and accessibility. This is a significant step towards a world free from the burden of malaria.”

“The R21/Matrix-M™ vaccine is a vital new tool to help stop the devastating health and economic impact of malaria on nearly half of the world’s population, including the tragic loss of 1,300 children every single day,” said John C. Jacobs, President and Chief Executive Officer, Novavax. “Now more than ever, collaborations are imperative to address unmet needs in preventable infectious disease. Novavax is proud of our partnership with the University of Oxford and Serum Institute of India, and grateful for the support of Gavi and UNICEF in the vaccine’s rollout.”

Professor Adrian Hill, Director of the Jenner Institute at Oxford University, said “The start of the distribution at large scale of this high efficacy, very cost-effective vaccine should mark a turning point in the battle against malaria.

R21/Matrix-M™ vaccine received WHO recommendation for use in children last year in October, followed by the announcement of its high efficacy of its Phase 3 Trial data results this year. This achievement was a step towards paving the way for vaccination of children in populations most at risk.

R21/Matrix-M™ malaria vaccine marks the culmination of 30 years of malaria vaccine research at the University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute. The vaccine is easily deployable, cost effective and affordable, and has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives a year. This is important as vaccinating those at high risk of malaria will be important in stemming the spread of the disease, as well as protecting the vaccinated.

About the Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd (SIIPL)

Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd, is a global leader in vaccine manufacturing, dedicated to providing affordable vaccines worldwide. Present across 170+ countries, including the US, UK, and Europe, SII holds the distinction of being the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer. SII’s multifunctional production and one-of-the-largest facility in Manjri, Pune, with an annual capacity of 4 billion doses, has saved over 30 million lives over the years.

Founded in 1966, SII’s primary mission is to produce lifesaving immunobiological drugs, with a particular emphasis on affordability and accessibility. Guided by a strong commitment to improving global health, the company has played a pivotal role in reducing the prices of essential vaccines, such as Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, HIB, BCG, r-Hepatitis B, Measles, Mumps, and Rubella. Notably, they are the manufacturers of ‘Pneumosil,’ the world’s most affordable PCV, and ‘Cervavac’ the first indigenous qHPV vaccine in India. Moreover, SII has been at the forefront of the global fight against COVID-19, delivering over 2 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine worldwide.

To further expand its global presence and ensure widespread vaccine availability, SII has established Serum Life Sciences Ltd, a subsidiary in the UK. Through relentless pursuit of innovation, SII continues to champion the cause of affordable vaccines, making a positive impact on the lives of millions worldwide. www.seruminstitute.com

About Novavax

Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVAX) promotes improved health by discovering, developing, and commercializing innovative vaccines to help protect against serious infectious diseases. Novavax, a global company based in Gaithersburg, Md., U.S., offers a differentiated vaccine platform that combines a recombinant protein approach, innovative nanoparticle technology and Novavax’s patented Matrix-M adjuvant to enhance the immune response. The Company’s portfolio includes its COVID-19 vaccine, and its pipeline includes COVID-19-Influenza Combination and stand-alone influenza vaccine candidates. In addition, Novavax’s adjuvant is included in the University of Oxford and Serum Institute of India’s R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine. Please visit novavax.com and LinkedIn for more information.