Updated on 24 April 2013
Indian vaccine firms are developing vaccines not just for the world but also for the domestic market
Vaccines are considered among the most important medical inventions made by man. Indian vaccine manufacturers, who are well known across the world for their quality and efficacy, are gearing up to develop and commercialize several vaccines not just for the world but also for the domestic market.
The Rotavirus vaccine development program, a mammoth public-private partnership (PPP) involving the department of biotechnology (DBT), the Gates Foundation, Program for Appropriate Technologies in Health (PATH), Centers for Disease Control, US; National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health, US; Society for Applied Studies, Translational Health Sciences Technology Institute, Indian Institute of Science; All India Institute of Medical Science; and Stanford University, recently completed phase III trials in February 2013.
These were conducted on 6,800 individuals at three locations, including SAS, Delhi; CMC, Vellore; and KEM, Mumbai. Dr Krishna Ella, chairman and MD, Bharat Biotech, had earlier announced that this vaccine would be made available at $1 only.
Furthermore, other major vaccine collaborations, similar to the one mentioned above, have met with identical fate. One such example is that of the collaboration between Novavax and Cadila Pharmaceuticals, whose joint venture, CPL Biologics was created in 2009 to harness the innovation potential of a small biotech firm like Novavax and leverage on the advantage of scale and experience of Cadila Pharmaceuticals.
Dr Sudeep Srivastava, VP, biotech manufacturing, Cadila Pharmaceutiacals, while speaking about the progress made so far, said that, "Moving ahead we have a very strong focus on developing vaccines using Novavax's platform technology. We have already completed phase I and phase II trials for a seasonal flu and a pandemic flu vaccine, based on based on Novavax's virus-like-particle (VLP) vaccine technology. Additionally,we are also in the midst of developing a rabies vaccine."