Adar Poonawalla of the Serum Institute named among 6 ‘Asians of the Year’: report

Adar Poonawalla is the CEO of the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer Serum Institute of India


Adar Poonawalla, the chief executive of the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer Serum Institute of India, is one of six people named “Asians of the Year” by Singapore’s leading daily The Straits Times for their work in the fight against COVID. 19 pandemic.

The Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) has partnered with the University of Oxford and the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to create the COVID-19 vaccine, ‘Covidshield’, and is conducting trials in India.

The other five mentioned in the list are Chinese researcher Zhang Yongzhen, who led the team that mapped and published online the first complete genome of Sars-CoV-2, the virus that caused the pandemic, the Chinese general Major Chen Wei, Japanese Dr. Ryuichi Morishita and Professor Ooi Eng Eong from Singapore, who are at the forefront of vaccine development against the virus, and South Korean businessman Seo Jung-jin whose company is making and supplying the vaccines and other Covid-19 treatments to the world.

Collectively referred to as “the virus breakers,” they are heroes of a kind, dedicated to the urgent cause of resolving the coronavirus pandemic, each in their own capacity, the paper said.

“Sars-CoV-2, the virus that has killed and deprived the world’s largest and most populous continent, meets its tamer in The Virus Busters,” the award said.

“We salute your courage, care, dedication and creativity. In this perilous hour, you are a symbol of hope for Asia, and even for the world.”

The Serum Institute was founded in 1966 by Adar Poonawalla’s father Cyrus Poonawalla.

Adar Poonawalla joined the Serum Institute of India in 2001 and became CEO of Serum Institute in 2011 with full control over the day-to-day operations of the company.

Mr. Poonawalla said he has invested $ 250 million of his family fortune in increasing the production capacity of his institute.

“I decided to pull out all the stops,” said 39-year-old Poonawalla, who has pledged that his company’s COVID-19 vaccines will help deliver low- and middle-income countries that are facing significant disadvantages in the quest for these. vaccines.

Mr Poonawalla said his institute is helping poorer countries access vaccines.


Central to the big picture of ending the pandemic is a common goal, said The Straits Times, Singapore’s premier daily newspaper.

The Straits Times Asians of the Year have led the way, as have many other individuals in their own field. When an end comes in sight, it will be thanks in no small part to these people who – undaunted by the turmoil – have committed themselves to the sobering, much-needed work of crafting a plan for humanity out of crisis .

“There hasn’t been a day this year when the pandemic wasn’t in the news. The editors of Straits Times felt that there couldn’t be more deserving recipients this year than the people who took on Asia’s greatest challenge ever, pioneering and courageous efforts to prevent the highly contagious virus from doing more harm, Bhagyashree Garekar, the foreign editor of Straits Times, said Saturday.

“In a year ending with the desire for major resets… the virus breakers in Asia are the face of hope on the horizon,” said Ms. Garekar.

Together, the recipients of the 2020 award are documenting the entire trajectory of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In deciding to honor The Virus Busters, the Straits Times editors had in mind those who have somehow enabled the complex, multi-step process of preventing as many people around the world from contracting the deadly disease in as little time as possible.

“Every year, ST editors look for a person, team or organization who not only created or shaped the news but also positively contributed to Asia in the process,” said Warren Fernandez, editor-in-chief of Singapore Press Holdings’ English / Malay / Tamil Media Group and Editor of Straits Times.

“This year, of course, we looked at those involved in the fight against Covid-19, which dominated the headlines. We debated long and hard, but finally came to an agreement on a group of people who did the most to get a to find an answer to the crisis caused by the virus. “

They are a disparate group whose concerted efforts have advanced the search for vaccines, allowing them to be discovered and delivered with an urgency never tried or seen before. Their commitment and actions have helped save lives and give hope. to people all over Asia, and the world, ”said Warren Fernandez.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV personnel and has been published from a syndicated feed.)

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