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.