On January 5, 2021, Union Minister for Science & Technology, Harsh Vardhan virtually inaugurated the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) Laboratory at the Translational Health Science & Technology Institute (THSTI), Faridabad. This is the 1st of its Kind in India & one of the Seven labs of the Global network.
i.The lab is part of the Global network developed by CEPI Foundation, the immediate mission of the CEPI Lab at THSTI will be to assess the quality of vaccines being developed against COVID-19.
ii.The Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India is implementing the Ind-CEPI Mission titled ‘India Centric Epidemic Preparedness through Rapid Vaccine Development: Supporting Indian Vaccine Development Aligned with the Global Initiative of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)’.
Other labs in the Global Vaccine Network:
The other labs in the collaborative vaccine network are Nexelis (Canada), Public Health England (United Kingdom), VisMederi Srl (Italy), Viroclinics-DDL (Netherlands), International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research (Bangladesh), Q2 solution (United States of America), National Institute for Biological Standards & Control (NIBSC, United Kingdom).
CEPI Global Network:
i.CEPI has approved costs of up to USD 16 Million for this network.
ii.The Labs can be used by COVID-19 vaccine developers for free to assess immunogenicity of their vaccine candidate against a common protocol.
About CEPI Foundation:
i.CEPI Foundation was launched at Davos in 2017 as a partnership between public, private, philanthropic & civil organizations.
ii.Founders – Wellcome Trust, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations, India, Germany, Japan, Norway & World Economic Forum (WEF).
iii.Main Focus – To develop vaccines for World Health Organization’s (WHO) – “Blue Priority diseases”.
i.The main aim of the Ind-CEPI mission is to enhance the development of vaccines for diseases which have the capability to develop into epidemics.
ii.It will also work in coordination with the Indian Public Health System to address emerging infectious threats in India.
iii.However, the immediate focus of the lab is to evaluate new COVID-19 vaccines using standard analysis and same reagents in all 7 labs across the globe to ensure that the vaccine has produced global acceptance & repeatability of results for global use.
iv.The CEPI lab is also accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL).
Harsh Vardhan releases e-Book on S & T solutions for COVID-19:
i.Harsh Vardhan released an eBook on S & T solutions for COVID-19 which showcases the efforts taken by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) for mitigation of this pandemic.
ii.It also showcases the indigenous COVID-19 interventions developed by DBT supported initiatives.
About Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) Foundation:
Chief Executive Officer – Richard J. Hatchett
Headquarters – Oslo, Norway