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Govt launches India’s first mRNA vaccine developed by Gennova

GEMCOVAC -OM, an Omicron-specific mRNA-based booster vaccine has funding support from DBT & BIRAC

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology, MoS PMO, Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space and MoS Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Dr Jitendra Singh launched the GEMCOVAC -OM, an Omicron-specific mRNA-based booster vaccine.

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India’s first mRNA vaccine has been developed using the indigenous platform technology by Gennova, with funding support from the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC). A few days ago this vaccine got the nod from the office of the Drug Control General of India (DCGI) for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).

GEMCOVAC-OM is a thermostable vaccine and does not require ultra-cold chain infrastructure used for other approved mRNA- based vaccines.

“This innovation makes it easy for last-mile deployment in our country. The existing supply chain infrastructure is sufficient to deploy this vaccine,” said Dr Jitendra Singh, adding, “Its unique feature is that this vaccine can be administered without a needle injection.”

The GEMCOVAC -OM vaccine is delivered intra-dermally using a needle-free injection device system and in study participants, it generated significantly higher immune responses. The clinical outcome demonstrates the need for variant-specific vaccines for desired immune response.

“I take great pride in DBT fulfilling its mission yet again – enabling technology-driven entrepreneurship through creating this indigenous mRNA-platform technology. We have always supported technology-driven innovation towards the creation of a ‘future-ready’ technology platform in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of Aatmanirbharta,” said Dr Singh.

GEMCOVAC -OM is the fifth vaccine developed with support from Mission COVID Suraksha implemented by DBT and BIRAC under the Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0 package of the Government of India for accelerated development of Indian COVID-19 vaccines.

“Within a year of implementation, the Mission Covid Suraksha demonstrated major achievements, such as (i) the Development of the World’s first DNA Vaccine for COVID-19, and (ii) Supporting the development of the nation’s first mRNA Vaccine and intranasal vaccine candidates and a subunit vaccine against COVID-19,” said Dr Singh.

The Minister said this ‘future-ready’ technology platform can be used to make other vaccines in a relatively short developmental timeline.

“Steady investments made by the Government of India have created a strong entrepreneurship as well as Startup ecosystem which had facilitated our response against the mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic. I congratulate DBT and BIRAC for fulfilling their mission yet again by enabling technology-driven entrepreneurship through creating this indigenous mRNA-platform technology,” he said.

PIB

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