IFC mulls another $30m loan to Indian low-cost vaccine maker Biological E

International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has proposed to extend a loan of up to $30 million to India-based vaccine developer and manufacturer Biological E Limited.

The proposed investment will part-finance the planned expansion of the company’s vaccine manufacturing capacity, according to IFC’s disclosure.

“In addition to growing its pipeline of vaccines and pharmaceutical products, the company is looking at playing a role in the development and availability of potential COVID-19 vaccine on an accelerated basis,” IFC said.

The proposed loan will be IFC’s second investment in Biological E. In 2017, the lender extended $60 million to the company to support the scaling up of the company’s product offerings and the setting up of its manufacturing facilities in Shameerpet, Hyderabad.

Based in Hyderabad, Biological E develops and manufactures vaccines that are supplied within India and to other developing and middle-income countries either directly or through supplies to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI).

Seven of the company’s vaccines, including liquid pentavalent vaccine, Japanese encephalitis vaccine, and Measles-Rubella vaccine, are World Health Organisation pre-qualified.

The company invests significantly in research and development and plans to launch several new products in India and other developing countries over the next five years.

According to IFC, the expansion of the company’s vaccine manufacturing capacity will increase the availability of affordable vaccines that can prevent potentially fatal diseases and contribute to a reduction in mortality levels.

“IFC’s long-term financing will benefit the company as product development in vaccines is of long gestation,” according to the disclosure.

Additionally, the expansion of the domestic manufacturing capacity of the company fits with the “Make in India” initiative launched by the government to make India a destination for the production of goods and to boost the national economy, IFC added.

Founded and led by Dr DVK Raju, Biological E commenced its operations in 1953 as a biological products company manufacturing liver extracts and anti-coagulants. It started large-scale production of DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus) vaccines as early as 1962.

The company currently has four strategic business units: branded formulations, speciality generic injectables, synthetic biology, and vaccines and biologics.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.