‘Vaccine Prince’: Indian billionaire ready to make coveted jabs for UK | Business

The AstraZeneca vaccine has been developed by Professor Sarah Gilbert – who is leading the Oxford team that developed it. He is one of the most famous modern scientists in the UK and changed the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company to a household name.

But about half the shots of Aster Zenica, designed for the weapons of hundreds of millions of people around the world, are being produced by a 40-year-old Indian billionaire with private jets and Picasso paint.

Adar Poonawala is the chief executive of the self-proclaimed “Prince of Vaccines” Serum Institute of India (SII), The world’s largest vaccine developer, for every tax on everything from polio and diphtheria to tetanus, BCG, hepatitis B and MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) before the corona virus spread Was making 1.5 billion pockets a year.

Vaccines have made Poonawala and his family extraordinarily rich. According to the Times of India, they are now the sixth richest family in India with an estimated 15 15 billion (11 11 billion).

A woman walks through a painting welcoming the Coved 19 vaccination program with a picture of Adar Poonawala

A woman walks through a painting welcoming the Code 19 vaccination program with a picture of Ed Pewala. Photograph: Ashish Vishnu / SOPA Images / Rex / Shutterstock

His property portfolio includes Lincoln House, Mumbai Haveli, the former US Embassy in India. At 3 113m, it was India’s most expensive home ever when they bought it in 2015.

Poonawala, who attended St. Edmund’s School in Canterbury and یونیورسٹی 30,000 a year at the University of Westminster, signed an agreement this week to rent the Mayfair mansion a record 000 50,000 a week. ۔

The 2,3oo-square-meter (25,000-square-foot) property, 24 times the size of the average English home, comes with an adjoining guesthouse and supports one of Mayfair’s “secret gardens”. He is leasing it to Polish billionaire Dominika Kolkaik, who bought it last year for 57 57 million.

Punewala, who is married with two children, travels by helicopter and private jet. He owns paintings by Picasso, Daly, Rembrandt and Robbins and owns a collection of 35 extraordinary luxury cars, including several Ferraris, Bentless and Rolls-Royce, as well as a The Mercedes S350 has been transformed into a duplicate Betomobile.

Copy of Adar Poonawala Batam Mobile

Her personal website Her lifestyle looks flash. It says, “It’s easy to dismiss Adar Poonawala as a rich horse. But, after that,” flamboyance is cultivated “and he is really” a serious young man who has a difficult boss, his father Cyrus. ” Poonawala “has received training.

Poonawala did not think of developing a vaccine. His father, Cyrus, founded his 81-hectare (200-acre) Race Horse Stable as SII in 1966. Poona Wala Stud. (Clean horse blood was used in the preparation of early vaccines for diphtheria, tetanus and scarlet fever.)

But it was Poonawala who persuaded his father to “grow up” to get him vaccinated after overcoming him. Bill Gates spoke in 2015, in which philanthropists who co-founded billionaire Microsoft warned that the world was not ready for a new viral epidemic..

Punewala told the Hindustan Times, “I wanted to be ready for the relevant level program from the time I heard Bill Gates talk to Ted, where he made it clear that we have to deal with such situations. You just have to be more discriminating with the help you render toward other people. “

He doubled the firm’s production capacity and began developing more vaccines for developing countries through the World Health Organization and the World Coalition for Vaccines and Immunizations (GVV), a vaccine charity run by Gates and which Poona is a board member.

The “Vaccine Prince” award went to Poonawala when he was appointed SII’s chief executive in 2011, replacing his “Vaccine King” father, who is now chairman of the wider Poonawala Group. , Including SII.

Serum Institute of India Campus in Pune

Serum Institute of India Campus in Pune, where it makes the Covid-19 vaccine. Photograph: Pant Paranjape / AFP / Getty Images

When the corona virus attacked, Poonawala decided: “Do absolutely nothing and see how it appears, or take the risk and become the frontrunner.” He took the risk.

At the time, the institute was working with Oxford University to develop a new malaria vaccine, and its scientists were asked to collaborate on the Gilbert vaccine.

Last May, Poonawala met over a video call with Aster Zenica’s chief executive, Pascal Sorat, and negotiated an agreement to produce 1bn food in 12 months for SII – its overall The number is half.

In the same month, a package arrived at the SI’s sprawling campus in Pune, 150 km southeast of Mumbai. There was a bottle filled with dry ice that contained the ingredients needed to make an Oxford vaccine, a cell substrate that needed to be developed, and detailed instructions. The results of any clinical trials or regulatory approvals did not include whether the vaccine was effective or safe.

A worker at the Serum Institute of India factory in Pune fills up the Kovid-19 vaccine.

A worker at the Serum Institute of India factory in Pune is filling the voids of the Covid-19 vaccine. Photograph: Rafiq Maqbool / AP

Nevertheless, Poonawala ordered three of his factories – which were making “something very profitable” at the time. [other] Vaccines “- Immediately convert the product to the Oxford / AstraZeneca Corona virus vaccine AZD1222.

“No one wants an epidemic, but we were prepared for almost one,” he told the Guardian from his office earlier this year inside the modified Airbus A320 jet. Explained “A type similar to Air Force One”.

We produce 1.5bn of vaccines every year. We never thought that the whole world depended so much on us, but no one else has the ability to create us. He added that the investment decision was easy because the firm is a private business and is not accountable to investors, bankers and shareholders.

Instead, he says, “it was just a five minute conversation between me and my father.” Also, he admits, “A big gamble – a big, a big, a big. People said I was betting so big or crazy at the time.

Airport staff unload boxes of vaccines manufactured by the Serum Institute of India at Mumbai Airport.

Airport staff unload boxes of vaccines manufactured by the Serum Institute of India at Mumbai Airport. Photo: Indranil Mukherjee / AFP / Getty Images

By the time the vaccine received its first formal approval from the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in December 2020, SII had already made 40 million doses. (The WHO approved it in February, but the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved it.)

The institute is now preparing 80 million doses a month, and plans to take 100 million doses soon, although one of its preparations caught fire in January, dropping the target.

ادر پونا والا

Dear countries and governments, as you have been waiting #QueShield Supply, I humbly request you to please be patient, Embed Tweet It has been directed to prioritize the huge needs of India and at the same time balance the needs of the rest of the world. We are doing our best.

February 21, 2021

But SII’s tremendous output put him and Poonawala in the global political arena, as world leaders are fighting a food war and increasing self-aggrandizement in India-Kuwait affairs.

Last month, Punewala tweeted: “Dear countries and governments, as you have been waiting for #QueShield Supply, I humbly request you to please be patient, Embed Tweet It has been directed to give priority to the major needs of India. We are doing our best.

This week, the Indian government banned the export of the vaccine for two to three months, prompting the signing of the WHO’s Kovacs scheme in the UK, Europe and low- and middle-income countries.

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Controls will delay 5m doses due to shipping to the UK. The upcoming shortage means that the UK’s vaccination program has been withdrawn for a month and that the vaccine will not be widely available to children under the age of 50 until May 1.

Back in India, Poonawala is building another factory. The m 400m facility, to be opened in 2024, is designed to produce 1bn of vaccines a year. It may be too late to help drive the current coronavirus vaccine, but it is the next epidemic in Poonawala’s brain.

“Maybe not in my life, but at least in my children’s lives, another global epidemic is about to emerge,” he said. Bloomberg. “And I’m willing to make any bet that the epidemic will get worse.”


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