Oxford Ebola vaccine manufactured and shipped in record time by SII

15 December 2022

  • More than 40,000 doses of Oxford’s Ebola vaccine have been manufactured by SII (Serum Institute of India) in just 60 days and doses shipped to Uganda
  • This bivalent vaccine is designed to target both major strains of Ebolavirus
  • The rapid response is a part of international plans to develop globally accessible vaccines against new threats in just 100 days and is delivered in partnership with the WHO

Oxford’s Ebola vaccine candidate has been shipped to Uganda, just 80 days after WHO declared a Sudan ebolavirus outbreak, having been manufactured by its partner the Serum Institute of India and working in close partnership with WHO.

Following presentation of key data to the WHO generated in Oxford by Prof Lambe's team, it was announced on 17th November that the vaccine had been recommended for inclusion in a ring vaccination trial to combat a Sudan ebolavirus outbreak in Uganda. The WHO working in partnership with the Ugandan government and Ministry of Health have enabled the ring vaccination trial as part of a multi-faceted effort to curb the outbreak and save lives.

The Oxford team led by Prof Lambe have been working on the vaccine for some time, including ongoing clinical trials in Oxford and Tanzania; manufacture scale-up was led by the Serum Institute and supported by Prof Sandy Douglas, of the Jenner Institute. This research was funded by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). SII (Serum Institute of India), who also partnered with the University to manufacture the Covid vaccine, produced 40,000 doses for the trial in just a few short weeks.

Teresa Lambe OBE, Professor of Vaccinology and Immunology at the Oxford Vaccine Group, said: ‘This is a phenomenal feat by all involved, especially our partners Serum Institute. This exceptional partnership has demonstrated yet again the importance of academics working with large scale manufacturers to rapidly pivot and respond to outbreaks, and the importance of working with and having the full support of WHO. Importantly, the speed at which we responded, gives real hope to achieving the 100 day mission and tackle deadly diseases of global impact.’

A number of organisations, including government bodies have embarked upon an ambitious plan to dramatically reduce or even eliminate the future risk of pandemics and epidemics. Part of the plan is to compress the time taken to develop safe, effective, globally accessible vaccines against new threats to just 100 days. Achieving this ‘100 Days Mission’ would give the world a fighting chance of containing a future outbreak before it spreads to become a global pandemic.

Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India, shared, “To combat the widespread outbreak of the Sudan ebolavirus in Uganda, it is important to prioritize immunization. The 40,000 vaccine doses manufactured in record time is a remarkable milestone in our long-standing association with Oxford University. I would also like to thank the Government of India for their constant support in enabling us to help people worldwide through effective, and accessible health interventions.”

Notes to Editors

For an interview with the lead researchers from the University of Oxford, please contact: [email protected] or call 01865 280528.

About the Oxford Vaccine Group
The Oxford Vaccine Group led the rapid clinical development of vaccines against COVID-19 in the pandemic and has made major contributions to knowledge supporting national and global policy on immunisation over 3 decades. We undertake vaccine research spanning basic science and preclinical studies through to epidemiological studies, human challenge models and phase I-III clinical trials. The Oxford Vaccine Group is directed by Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, and research leads are Professor Teresa Lambe OBE, Professor Daniela Ferreira, Professor Maheshi Ramasamy, Professor Brian Angus, Dr Dominic Kelly, and Dr Rinn Song. Current research at the Oxford Vaccine Group, supported by a team of 150 multidisciplinary researchers, includes research on vaccines for outbreak pathogens and pandemics, enteric pathogens, bacterial and viral respiratory infections, and use of human challenge models to accelerate vaccine development.
OVG is part of a UKCRC registered clinical trials unit working in collaboration with the Primary Care Trials Unit at the University (registration number: 52).

About Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd. (SIIPL):
Driven by the philanthropic philosophy of affordable vaccines, Serum Institute of India Pvt, Ltd. is the world's largest vaccine manufacturer by number of doses produced and sold globally (more than 2.5 billion doses), supplying the world's least expensive and WHO-accredited vaccines to as many as 170 countries. It was founded in 1966 with the aim of manufacturing lifesaving immunobiological drugs including vaccines worldwide. With a strong commitment towards global health, the institute's objective has been proliferated by bringing down the prices of newer vaccines such as such as Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Hib, BCG, r-Hepatitis B, Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccines. SII is credited with bringing world-class technology to India, through its state-of-the-art equipped multifunctional production facility in Manjri, Pune and government agencies to transform emergency medicine and critical care along with spearheading the race of vaccine development against the COVID-19 pandemic. Serum Life Sciences Ltd is a subsidiary company of Serum Institute of India, with a global sales office in London to market COVID-19 vaccines manufactured by Serum Institute of India.

About the UK Vaccine Network
The Department for Health and Social Care is the UK Government department which is responsible for helping people to live more independent, healthier lives for longer. This investment is part of the UK Vaccine Network (UKVN). UKVN was established to provide funding to support the development of promising vaccines and vaccine technologies that will help combat infectious diseases that have epidemic potential in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). UKVN is a £190m UK Aid investment, which means all projects funded must support research primarily and directly for the benefit of people in LMICs.

About the University of Oxford
Oxford University has been placed number 1 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for the seventh year running, and number 2 in the QS World Rankings 2022. At the heart of this success are the twin-pillars of our ground-breaking research and innovation and our distinctive educational offer.

Oxford is world-famous for research and teaching excellence and home to some of the most talented people from across the globe. Our work helps the lives of millions, solving real-world problems through a huge network of partnerships and collaborations. The breadth and interdisciplinary nature of our research alongside our personalised approach to teaching sparks imaginative and inventive insights and solutions.

Through its research commercialisation arm, Oxford University Innovation, Oxford is the highest university patent filer in the UK and is ranked first in the UK for university spinouts, having created more than 200 new companies since 1988. Over a third of these companies have been created in the past three years. The university is a catalyst for prosperity in Oxfordshire and the United Kingdom, contributing £15.7 billion to the UK economy in 2018/19, and supports more than 28,000 full time jobs.