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Poonawalla group acquires Dutch global vaccine company

Posted on Jul 04, 10:44PM | IANS

Pune, July 4 : Serum Institute of India, the flagship company of the over USD 1 billion Poonawalla Group vaccine company, Wednesday announced the acquisition of Bilthoven Biologicals of the Netherlands, a company official said.

Through the acquisition, the Poonawalla Group will get access to technology and expertise for making the Salk injectable polio vaccine.

This first overseas acquisition by the Poonawalla Group will also provide the Group and Serum Institute an important manufacturing base in Europe with access to the important European and US markets.

"This acquisition will significantly strengthen our position in the global vaccines market, while giving us access to the technology and production facility of Injectable Polio Vaccine (Salk), which is the only logical solution available to the world for the eradication of polio," said Cyrus Poonawalla, Chairman of the Poonawalla Group and Serum Institute, while announcing the acquisition.

"More importantly it also gives the Poonawalla Group an important operational and strategic beachhead in Europe and the US, with the important manufacturing base in the Netherlands. This will also significantly enhance our earlier offerings in the paediatric vaccines segment," he added.

Bilthoven Biologicals is located in the city of Bilthoven near Amsterdam. The manufacturing facility is spread over 20 acres and employs over 200 people. The facility has a manufacturing capacity of over 20 million doses of vaccines in a year and the company sells these vaccines to Europe and developing countries.

Sharing the future outlook for the company, Adar Poonawalla, Executive Director of the Poonawalla Group said that the group is committed to investing over Euros 70-80 million over the next three years to augment the infrastructure and enhance the manufacturing capacity of the Bilthoven's facilities.

"Serum Institute has one of the world's largest vaccine manufacturing facilities at Pune, India and with this second manufacturing facility based in Europe, the company aims to access the developed markets of Europe and USA for its existing and future products in the pipeline," he said.