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Bangladesh's Beximco in coronavirus vaccine pact with India's Serum Institute

DHAKA, Aug 28 (Reuters) - One of Bangladesh’s largest drugmakers, Beximco Pharmaceuticals, announced on Friday that it will invest with the Serum Institute of India (SII) to ensure Bangladesh gets access to vaccines it is developing for the novel coronavirus.

The deal comes after Bangladesh said this month it was ready to hold trials of candidate vaccines developed by India as both countries seek to curb the spread of the virus.

“The investment amount will be treated as an advance and once the vaccine receives regulatory approvals, SII will include Bangladesh among the countries who will be the first to receive an agreed quantity of this vaccine from SII on a priority basis,” Beximco said in a statement, citing the heads of both organisations.

Beximco will also be the exclusive supplier for Bangladesh for a vaccine developed by the Serum Institute, it said.

The Serum Institute is the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines by volume. It is holding trials for three potential coroanvirus vaccines, including one licensed to AstraZeneca Plc by Oxford University.

Bangladesh also approved a late-stage trial of a potential coronavirus vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd in the hope of being a priority recipient for the jab.

Bangladesh confirmed 47 more deaths and reported 2,211 new cases on Friday, taking the total number of cases in the country to 306,794 with 4,174 deaths.

India reported a record daily jump of 77,266 coronavirus infections on Friday, taking its total number of cases to 3.39 million with 61,529 deaths. (Reporting by Ruma Paul Editing by Robert Birsel)

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