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Dr Cyrus Poonawalla nominated for Nobel Prize

Founder of the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, Serum Institute of India, Dr Cyrus Poonawalla has been nominated from India for the prestigious Nobel Prize, said Dr Parvez Grant, Managing Trustee of the Ruby Hall Clinic. He was speaking at a felicitation event of Dr Cyrus Poonawalla who was recently conferred an honorary ‘Doctor of Humane Letters’ degree by the Massachusetts Medical School at Boston for his unparalleled work in the field of immunisation at the global level.

Billionaire Cyrus Poonawalla, chairman of Serum Institute of India Ltd., sits for a photograph in Pune, Maharashtra, India, on Monday, May 4, 2015. Serum, Asia’s largest vaccine maker, will look at a possible merger with generic drugmaker Cipla Ltd. if the European venture between the two companies succeeds. Photographer: Sanjit Das/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Speaking at the event on Sunday at Hotel JW Marriot Dr Cyrus Poonawalla said that after fighting against various diseases his next aim is to fight against rape cases and atrocities on women. “I will try to rope in legal help and fight such cases. Also, as people have advised me I will take help from non-government organisations for the cause,” added Poonawalla.

Veteran actor Kabir Bedi hosted the event and Dr Cyrus Poonawalla was felicitated by Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Chief Sharad Pawar. Dr Parvez Grant said that Serum Institute has produced vaccines for measles, diphtheria, tetanus and other diseases and now  has developed a cure for rabies. “Rabishield, the cure for rabies was developed by Serum Institute and is said to cure rabies. Similarly, Serum Institute is working on a vaccine for curing Dengue1,” added Dr Grant

Speaking at the event, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar recollected memories of college days with Dr Cyrus Poonawalla. “He was good in extracurricular activities and has marked his name at the global level. Dr Poonawalla for the past 50 years has relentlessly driven the immunisation drive across the world and has been producing the most affordable vaccines in the world. Dr Poonawalla’s primary motto has been to produce life-saving drugs and vaccines and protect every child from diseases.”

While talking to reporters at the event, Dr Poonawalla said, “What caught the attention was the contribution that I and my Institute has made in providing vaccines to over 20 million underprivileged children in the world at a very low price. Serum Institute has been successful in bringing down the number of deaths of small children by providing vaccines at a lower price.” Dr Poonawalla said that his focus has always been to provide vaccines at a low cost. “I could have sold the vaccines at a higher cost. I have deprived my son of extra 10 billion US dollars but my son is stepping on the footsteps of his philanthropic mother and is giving to the society by opening schools, hospitals and cleanliness initiatives in the city,” added Dr Poonawalla.

Noted personalities such as Sakal Chairman Pratap Pawar and Sakal Managing Director Abhijit Pawar, actors Sanjay Dutt, Sanjay Kapoor, Mallika Sherawat, Chunky Pandey, businesswoman Anu Aga, businessman Atul Chordia, Adar Poonawalla and MLC Anil Bhosale were present for the event.

Dr Poonawalla was awarded the Padma Shri in 2005 for his contribution to medicine, and a Lifetime Achievement Award by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Serum Institute of India is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by the number of doses produced and sold globally. Built on the philanthropic philosophy of easy accessibility and provision of protection for underprivileged children of the world. WHO-accredited S11 vaccines are used in around 170 countries across the globe in their national immunisation programmes, saving millions of lives throughout the world.