Condoling his death, WHO Chief Scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan said that Jadhav had made exceptional lifetime contributions to vaccine development.

Serum Institute’s executive director Dr Suresh Jadhav passes away at 72Image Credit: IANS
news Death Wednesday, December 08, 2021 - 21:01

Executive Director of Serum Institute of India (SII) Dr Suresh S Jadhav passed away after a prolonged illness at a private hospital in Pune late on the night of Tuesday, December 8. He was 72 and is survived by his wife and two children. Jadhav died of renal failure and other related ailments, according to Indian Express. His demise was mourned by SII CEO Adar Poonawalla and World Health Organisation (WHO) Chief Scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan, besides other prominent personalities.

Poonawalla said that "the Indian vaccine industry has lost a guiding light with the passing of Dr Suresh Jadhav". "Dr Jadhav was instrumental in setting up the Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturing Network (DCVMN). He represented the SII on the GAVI board and was also instrumental in the liaison between the national and international regulatory authorities. He played a pivotal role in getting WHO pre-qualifications of several products," he said.

Dr Swaminathan said: "Very sad news. Exceptional lifetime contributions to vaccine development with huge impact on lives saved."

Born in a village in eastern Maharashtra, Jadhav completed his graduation in Pharmacy from Nagpur University and started his career with a research fellowship of the CSIR in 1970. After spending several years in academics at Nagpur University's Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Mumbai, SNDT Women's University and Haffkine Institute, he joined the SII in 1979, where he became the Executive Director in 1992. 

He was mainly responsible for manufacturing and quality control at SII, according to Hindustan Times. Jadhav reportedly played an instrumental role in setting up the vaccine manufacturing process at the company’s Manjri unit near Pune, where SII has been producing the Covishield vaccine.

Jadhav's technical expertise spanned various quality control techniques and drug pricing. He served several times as Expert, and Temporary Advisor to WHO for its vaccine programmes and policies, new vaccines, new methods of vaccine testing, developing new reference standards, etc.

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