Serum Institute pegs losses due to fire at over Rs 1,000 crore

SII was getting the facility ready to make vaccines.

Vaccine maker Serum Institute of India has suffered losses of Rs 1,000 crore because of the fire that broke out at the Pune facility on Thursday.

Adar Poonawalla, CEO, said the extent of the damage was more than a Rs 1,000 crore because of the equipment and the products that were going to be launched from this new facility.

SII was getting ready for adding capacity to make new product such as BCG and Rotavirus vaccines and this was a big loss for them, he said.

Vaccines from this facility were to go into the exports and they would now look at making up for this from other facilities, Poonawalla said. The fire will not have impact on the Covishield Covid-19 vaccine production, stock or supplies, Poonawalla clarified. This was a financial loss and will not affect supplies of any vaccines, Poonawalla said.

Cyrus Poonawalla, CMD, SII, said there was no production happening in the area and no vaccine was being made there at the time of the fire and they they were lucky that fire broke out in this building and not the building making the Covishield vaccines.

SII was getting the facility ready to make vaccines.

SII CEO said the damage has been in the filling line and bulk production line for BCG and Rotavirus vaccines, which was under installation in a brand new building. SII has multiple facilities and will be able to make up for the supplies of BCG and Rota virus. The loss was more about capacity expansion and future production, Poonawalla said.

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray visited SII’s Pune facility on Friday and said it was a relief that the Covid-19 vaccine facility was safe and will remain unaffected by the fire. Thackeray said investigations were going on into the incident to see whether it was an accident or part of some sabotage. They will wait for the inquiry to be completed before speculating about this incident, Thackeray said.

Five persons were killed in the fire on Thursday at the Manjari Special Economic Zone campus on Thursday. Pune police have started investigations into the incident and are not ruling out any possibilities.

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