May 12, 2010 / 5:57 AM / 7 years ago

Cadila gets nod for H1N1 vaccine in India

A man walks past a graffiti about H1N1 influenza on a street side wall in Mumbai September 9, 2009. Cadila Healthcare Ltd said on Wednesday it has received approval from the Drug Controller General of India to market the H1N1 vaccine in the country.Arko Datta/Files

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Cadila Healthcare Ltd said on Wednesday it has received approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to market its H1N1 vaccine in the country.

Used to prevent the infection of swine flu, this egg-based vaccine named 'VaxiFlu-S' will be marketed by Vaxxicare, a division of the company, it said in a statement.

Indian drumakers such as Panacea Biotec and Pune-based unlisted vaccines maker Serum Institute are also close to launch an H1N1 vaccine in the country.

Out of the 139,466 people tested for swine flu symptoms in India since the outbreak of the pandemic in the year 2009, about 23 percent have tested positive for swine flu, Cadila said in a statement.

"The development is positive for the company as India has a huge population of people aged above 60 years and below 15 years," a pharma sector analyst told Reuters over the telephone.

"While Panacea Biotec is looking to sell the vaccine to the government, Cadila has a focus on direct domestic market. This would help company make early in-roads," another analyst said.

The market size for H1N1 vaccine in India in case of high-risk population was about 4-5 million doses, Pankaj Patel, chairman and managing director of Cadila had told Reuters.

Cadila also plans to develop more vaccines against bacterial, viral and protozoal infections at its vaccine technology centre, it said in the statement.

At 11:32 a.m., shares of Cadila Healthcare were trading at 586 rupees, up 1.97 percent in a flat Mumbai market.

Reporting by Kaustubh Kulkarni, Editing by Ramya Venugopal

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