On May 15, 2020, University of Hyderabad (UoH) and CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research)-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), have tied up with Vins Bioproducts Limited, an antisera manufacturing company incubated at UoH’s BioNEST incubation centre, to develop antibody- based immunotherapy for immediate treatment for Covid-19 pandemic.
i.Antibody therapy: Scientists plan to use antibody fragments, synthesised from the antibodies generated in horses, offered by the F(ab’)2 platform technology.
ii.Horse-based antibodies have been used earlier for developing antibody therapy for a variety of life-threatening pathologies in humans as anti-venoms, anti-toxins and anti-virals.
iii.The antibodies, raised in horses using inactivated Coronavirus is fractionated and purified to produce antibody fragments F(ab’)2 for neutralising Coronavirus in the patients for recovery.
iv.Research teams: The UoH team is headed by Nooruddin Khan, an associate professor at the Department of Animal Biology, School of Life Sciences. Prof. Khan’s laboratory specialises in the area of immunology, infection biology, and vaccinology.
v.The CCMB team is led by Krishnan Harinivas, principal scientist specialising in the area of molecular virology while Krishna Mohan is leading the research team at VINS and specialises in bioprocessing and product development.
vi.The use of antibodies has been an effective method in protecting against several human and animal diseases. Although plasma-based passive immunity against Covid-19 has been reported to be working well in clinical trials, it has several theoretical and practical concerns including limitation in the availability of human plasma samples.
vii.Appa Rao Podile, Vice-Chancellor, UoH, added that the antibody fragment-based immunotherapy would result in a successful development of immediate treatment for Covid-19 pandemic.
viii.Siddharth Daga, CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Vins Bioproducts Ltd, expressed his confidence in the fast track development by complimenting the technical and infrastructural strengths available in the three collaborating organisations.
About University of Hyderabad (UoH):
Motto– Sā vidya ya vimuktaye (Education results in Liberation).
Chancellor– Justice L. Narasimha Reddy.
- The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology or CCMB is an Indian fundamental life science research establishment located in Hyderabad that operates under the aegis of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
- CCMB is a designated “Centre of Excellence” by the Global Molecular and Cell Biology Network, UNESCO.
Director– Dr Rakesh K Mishra.