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Hyderabad firm, Australian varsity to develop Covid-19 vaccine

Tuesday - April 7, 2020 8:14 pm , Category : HEALTH
Hyderabad, April 7 (IANS) A Hyderabad-based vaccine maker and an Australian university have joined forces to develop a prophylatic, active, single-dose immunisation against coronavirus.
In this cross-continental collaboration, scientists from Indian Immunologicals Ltd and Griffith University (Australia) will develop a 'Live Attenuated SARS - CoV-2 vaccine' or Covid-19 vaccine using the latest codon de-optimisation technology.
The vaccine is expected to provide long-lasting protection with a single dose administration with an anticipated safety profile similar to other licensed vaccines for active immunization.
Indian Immunologicals Ltd Managing Director, Dr K. Anand Kumar, said: "IIL is committed to addressing critical public health needs by engaging in this research collaboration. The mission at IIL is to develop and supply vaccines that support the One Health initiative. IIL has taken up this initiative to develop a vaccine candidate for the pandemic - COVID-19. IIL's leadership in producing safe and affordable human and veterinary vaccines will enable us to progress well in this endeavour."
On completion of research, the vaccine strain is to be transferred to IIL, who will work on clinical trials with the country's regulator, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, to further conduct clinical trials which will be taken up in a phased manner.
Professor Suresh Mahalingam, of the Menzies Health Institute at Griffith University, said: "As this vaccine will be a live attenuated vaccine, it is expected to be highly effective by providing very strong cellular and antibody immune responses against the virus. The other benefit of a live-attenuated vaccine is a proven track record for economical large-scale manufacturing and well-known regulatory approval pathway."
Headquartered at Hyderabad, IIL intends to use its existing Vero cell platform technology for mass production of the vaccine.
Indian Immunologicals Ltd is the market leader in veterinary biologicals and the third largest animal health and human health player in India. Set up by the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) in 1982, it pursues a one health approach to improve and extend lives. IIL is one of the largest producers of Foot and Mouth disease vaccine in the world and was the first company in India - and the second globally - to launch the purified Vero cell rabies vaccine for humans (PVRV).

--IANS pvn/vd