Poonawalla family pledges $66 million to Oxford University

Mumbai: Serum Institute of India (SII) owned by the Poonawalla family has pledged $66.2 million to the University of Oxford for setting up a research campus that would also house the institute behind the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 shot.

The investment was made through the Indian company’s SerumLife Sciences unit, Oxford University said on Wednesday. The research building would be named after the Poonawalla family.

SII has also agreed with the Jenner Institute, which was behind the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, to produce and develop Jenner’s R21/Matrix-M malaria shot on a large scale. The shot is currently in late-stage trials.

The pledge builds on the collaboration between Oxford University, AstraZeneca, and SII, the world’s largest maker of vaccines and the producer of a version of the British duo’s COVID-19 shot for low- and middle-income countries.

The Poonawallas in September invested 50 million pounds in Oxford Biomedica to help fund the development of a plant that manufactures COVID-19 shots.

SII was founded in 1966 in Pune by Cyrus Poonawalla, son of a horse breeder, and India’s fifth-richest person, according to Forbes.

Image courtesy of thesatimes

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