Vaccine makers eye Mexico to expand LatAm footprint

For Mexico, expanding its domestic capability to manufacture vaccines has become a top national priority since the covid-19 pandemic. (AFP)
For Mexico, expanding its domestic capability to manufacture vaccines has become a top national priority since the covid-19 pandemic. (AFP)

Summary

This proposed deal will allow Bharat BioTech and SII to expand their presence in Mexico and further afield in the Latin American market.

New Delhi: Bharat BioTech and Serum Institute of India are in talks with the Mexican government for manufacturing vaccines, according to persons aware of the matter.

This proposed deal will allow the two Indian pharmaceutical companies to expand their presence in Mexico and further afield in the Latin American market.

For Mexico, expanding its domestic capability to manufacture vaccines has become a top national priority since the covid-19 pandemic.

During his visit to India in 2022, Mexican foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard said in an interview that his country could no longer depend solely on developed nations for the supply of crucial vaccines. Ebrard also appreciated India’s role in sending vaccines to Mexico in 2021.

Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech did not respond to queries from Mint.

The talks for cooperating on vaccines and biotechnologies are in line with Mexico reaching out to India on pharmaceuticals in recent years. In 2022, the Mexican government entered into a strategic partnership agreement with another Indian company, Cipla, during Ebrard’s visit.

That agreement established cooperation between Cipla and Mexican government agency Biological and Reagent Laboratories of Mexico (Birmex).

“The MoU will involve trade agreements to ensure a short-term supply of oncological and retroviral drugs to Mexico, and a technology transfer arrangement to ensure that Birmex has the capacity to manufacture these products to supply the country," the Mexican foreign ministry said at the time.

Mexico has also established cooperation with ImmunoACT for the transfer of technology for cancer treatment.

In addition, Reuters reported in 2022 that Mexico was in talks with Biological E. Ltd, another Indian company manufacturing vaccines, to transfer Indian technology for the development of vaccines in Mexico.

Indian firms may be motivated by the prospect of expanding their presence in Mexico as a means of increasing their footprint in the Latin American market.

While some Indian firms like Sun Pharma, Lupin and Dr. Reddy’s already have a presence in Mexico and the wider region, Latin American nations are making a determined push to attract more Indian pharmaceutical enterprises.

Panama’s foreign minister Janaina Tewaney Mencomo said in January: “Panama is trying to develop a pharma hub and...I believe the Indian pharma sector is one of the most important allies of Panama in this."

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