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Biological E, in race for coronavirus vaccine, acquires India unit of troubled Akorn
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Biological E Ltd, which is developing a Covid-19 vaccine, on Monday said it has acquired the Indian subsidiary of US-based generics company Akorn, Inc.

The development comes after VCCircle reported last month that the US company was in advanced talks to sell Akorn India Pvt. Ltd that has remained shut for almost four years now.   

Akorn, Inc. had earlier this year filed for protection from creditors under American bankruptcy law.

Akorn India, founded in 1971, was not included in the filing seeking bankruptcy protection.

Hyderabad-based Biological E said in a statement that the acquisition will help the company boost its capabilities and capacities to produce and supply its vaccines and injectable medicines. It did not disclose financial details of the transaction.

Akorn India's plant in Paonta Sahib, Himachal Pradesh, has a fully staffed sterile injectable manufacturing facility with an annual capacity for about 135 million units and a potential for immediate capacity addition of a further 30 million units. 

The plant may also be used for the commercial-scale manufacture of the Covid-19 vaccine Biological E is developing, the Hyderabad-based firm added.

Late last month, World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) had proposed to provide a loan of up to $30 million (Rs 224 crore) to Biological E. The loan was expected to help the company expand its vaccine manufacturing facilities.

Biological E was set up in 1953. It is promoted by managing director and chief executive officer Mahima Datla, who holds a majority of its shares. The remaining stake is held by members of her family, according to IFC.

The company reported consolidated net sales of Rs 980.8 crore for the financial year ended March 2019, and profit after tax of Rs 89 crore for the same period.

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