The fight against Covid-19 pandemic has got a booster shot with medical experts and pharma companies from across the world gearing up to develop a potential coronavirus vaccine and treatment.
Coronavirus infection is gripping the world and India is rapidly moving up the graph of total affected patients. Even as India records 18,522 COVID-19 positive cases in the last 24hrs, taking the total past 5.6 lakh infections, there is an urgent need for a remedy. UK has made great strides in developing a vaccine against the coronavirus infection. In India, the efforts are growing continuously to develop the coronavirus vaccine. India is one of the largest manufacturer of vaccines and generic drugs in the world. The country is home to around half a dozen big vaccine makers in the world and also has some upcoming vaccine manufacturers. These companies are involved in making vaccines against diseases like Polio, Pneumonia, Rota virus, Meningitis, BCG, Mumps, Rubella and Measles, among other diseases. Coronavirus vaccine is of great importance to these companies.
Here are six Indian companies working on coronavirus vaccine development. These Indian companies have joined the global endeavor to find a quick preventive measure for the fatal virus infection. It is a daunting task but hopefully some results are encouraging.
Companies working on Coronavirus Vaccine
Ahmadabad-based Indian pharmaceutical giant Cadila Healthcare/Zydus Cadila has emerged as a big leader at the forefront of India’s battle to fight the COVID-19 virus. The research team at Zydus Cadila is constantly working towards an accelerated vaccine research programme which can fight against COVID-19.
Zydus has adopted a two-pronged approach for the development of a vaccine which includes a DNA based vaccine and secondly a live attenuated recombinant vaccine to combat the virus. Previously, Recently, Zydus Cadila was researching on two vaccine prototypes, focusing on the work on ramping up the production of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and development of rapid diagnostic kits. But now the company is also exploring the use of a biologic drug Interferon alfa-2b to treat the COVID-19 virus.
- Serum Institute of India
The Pune based, 50-year-old vaccine giant Serum Institute of India his running ahead of all other pharma companies in its fight against the COVID-19 virus. The company has forged a partnership with AstraZeneca to produce the coronavirus vaccine. On June 4, British drug maker AstraZeneca said that it has partnered with Serum Institute of India to supply 1 billion doses of University of Oxford’s potential COVID-19 vaccine. SII will provide 400 million doses of coronavirus vaccine by of 2020 as a part of the agreement. Now the significance of this partnership is that if all goes according to the plan, millions of Indians will get access to the COVID-19 vaccine shots produced by Serum Institute way before the end of 2020.
The company has also tied-up with Codagenix, an American biotech company, to develop a live attenuated vaccine, which is also suppose to go to clinical trials soon.
- Bharat Biotech International limited
Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Ltd (BBIL) has collaborated with the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Through this collaboration, ICMR will provide continuous support to BBIL for COVID-19 vaccine development. Both the firms are working towards seeking fast-track approvals to accelerate vaccine development in India. This will include clinical evaluation of candidate vaccine and subsequent animal studies, all of which will be completely indigenous to India.
Covaxin, the vaccine candidate will begin clinical trials in India in July, 2020
- Indian immunological’s Limited
Indian Immunologicals is a Hyderabad based pharmaceutical company and is one of the largest vaccine manufacturers in the world. They have collaborated with the Griffith University of Australia to develop Coronavirus vaccine using the latest codon De-optimization technology. According to a statement released by the company, the vaccine has the potential to provide long-lasting protection with just a single-dose administration. Moreover, the vaccine will come with an anticipated safety profile similar to other licensed vaccines used for active Immunisation.
Mynvax is a Bangalore based biotechnology startup involved in making next-generation flu vaccines in India. This startup is situated at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. It has also taken up the responsibility of beating COVID-19 virus and is developing an indigenous vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infections. It anticipates the vaccine to be ready in about 18 months. To pace up and scale up the entire process, Mynvax has applied for Rs 15 crore in funding from the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).
- Auro vaccines and Gennova Bio pharmaceuticals
Recently Hyderabad-based Auro Vaccines and Pune’s Gennova Bio pharmaceuticals announced their entry into COVID-19 vaccine development race. Both the companies have approached the Department of Biotechnology with their respective vaccine candidates and are looking forward to a quick response.
Also to support Atmanirbhar Bharat government has allocated Rs 100 crores from the PM-CARES (Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations) Fund to support the companies to develop a novel Corona Virus vaccine. The entire funds will be utilized under the supervision of Principal Scientific Advisor, K Vijay Raghavan.