Shares of pharma major Wockhardt soared 10 per cent to hit the upper circuit limit for the second straight day on Tuesday. Wockhardt's shares had surged on Monday after the pharma company entered into a fill-and-finish agreement with the UK government to supply COVID-19 vaccines. Fill-and-finish is the final manufacturing step of putting vaccines into vials or syringes and packaging them. On Tuesday afternoon, trading was halted on the stock after it rose 10 per cent to Rs 333.70 apiece.
Under the deal, Wockhardt will supply millions of doses of multiple COVID-19 vaccines, including that being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.
“The pandemic of COVID-19 is a challenge for all and needs a concerted effort to overcome. We are proud to be collaborating with the UK Government to make vaccines available and the arrangement brings in a huge sense of purpose and pride, it upholds our ongoing commitment to fight against such a pandemic of global human importance," said Dr Habil Khorakiwala, founder chairman of Wockhardt, said on Monday.
The UK government has also reserved one fill-and-finish production line at a Wockhardt subsidiary in Wrexham, Wales for its exclusive use for the next 18 months to secure supply. The Wrexham line is expected to start in September. AstraZeneca has indicated it would need 30 million fill-and-finish doses of their vaccine candidate, which the company intends to supply in the next few months, Dr Khorakiwala said at the virtual press briefing.