Biopharmaceutical company Ocugen Inc.’s (NASDAQ:OCGN) COVID-19 vaccine partner, India-based Bharat Biotech International Ltd., will charge as much as double its main rival AstraZeneca plc (NASDAQ:AZN) for its vaccines in India.
What Happened: Bharat Biotech announced on Twitter it will sell its COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin, for INR 600 ($8) a dose to state governments and INR 1,200 ($6) a dose to private hospitals. The company added it has set aside 50% of its production capacity for supplies to the Government of India’s vaccination program at INR 150 ($2) per dose.
Further, Bharat Biotech said that the pricing of Covaxin in the export markets has been pegged in a range of $15 to $20 per dose.
In comparison, local rival Serum Institute of India (SII) said its Covishield vaccine will be provided to state governments for INR 400 ($5.35) a shot, while private hospitals will have to pay INR 600 ($8) per dose. Covishield, the most widely available in India, is manufactured by SII and developed by AstraZeneca.
See Also: Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Could Make Its Way To India By July
Why It Matters: Bharat Biotech’s pricing announcement comes as India grapples with a deadly second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company is ramping up manufacturing to produce 700 million COVID-19 vaccine doses annually.
Bharat Biotech noted that Covaxin is an inactivated and highly purified vaccine, making manufacturing expensive due to low process yields. Further, the company said that recovering costs is essential in the journey of innovation towards other vaccines, including Intranasal COVID-19.
Ocugen shares surged last Thursday following positive clinical data for Covaxin announced by Bharat Biotech and a bullish stance taken by Roth Capital analyst Zegbeh Jallah.
In a note, Jallah said that Ocugen has sufficient information to support the filing of an Emergency Use Authorization application for Covaxin with the FDA in the U.S. The approval could lead to a significant revenue-generating opportunity for Ocugen, the analyst noted.
It was reported in March that Ocugen plans to sell 100 million Covaxin doses in the U.S.
Price Action: Ocugen shares closed almost 3.7% higher on Friday