On May 10, 2020 Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR) announced its tie-up with Bharat Biotech International Ltd(BBIL) to develop the 1st fully indigenous COVID-19 vaccine by using the virus strain isolated at the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune. The strain has been successfully transferred from NIV to BBIL.
i.The ICMR-NIV will provide continuous support to BBIL for vaccine development. ICMR and BBIL will seek fast-track approvals to speed-up vaccine development, subsequent animal studies and clinical evaluation of the vaccine.
ii.To develop the vaccine it takes from 6 months to a year.
Other initiatives by BBIL to develop a COVID -19 vaccine
- The Department of Biotechnology announced funding support to the company to develop a vaccine candidate using the inactive rabies vector platform on April 20.
- The company announced that it has been working on CoroFlu, a one-drop COVID-19 nasal vaccine built on a flu vaccine backbone which has proven to be safe for humans on April 3. It was part of an international collaboration of virologists at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and vaccine companies FluGen.
Few other initiatives to develop vaccine
i.University of Oxford has started testing a vaccine against the novel coronavirus disease. The Serum Institute of India, one of the largest vaccine manufacturers in the world, is a partner for the production of the vaccine in preparation for the trials.
ii.Moderna, a biotechnology company, is into phase I clinical trials under the aegis of the US National Institutes of Health(NIH).
iii.The Hong Kong-listed biotech firm CanSino Biologics cleared the phase I trials of the vaccine & has moved into phase II of the trial.
iv.Pfizer and the German pharmaceutical company BioNTech began human trials in the United States(US) to develop a vaccine candidate based on genetic material known as messenger RiboNucleic Acid(RNA). If the tests are successful, the vaccine could be ready for emergency use here as early as September.
Founder & Chairman– Krishna M. Ella
Registered office– Hyderabad, Telangana