Updated on 24 April 2013
Indian companies are also leading the way, when it comes to neglected diseases. Panacea Biotec is in the early stages of development of a tetravalent dengue vaccine. Indian Immunologicals has also been pooling its efforts in developing vaccines for neglected tropical diseases such as chikungunya and kala azar. They are also concentrating efforts on an oral cervical cancer vaccine, a first from the developing world, thus offering its affordability for the masses. The DBT is also closely monitoring the development of a cholera vaccine that is in phase III trials.
Malaria is another challenge that Indian companies have taken up in the recent past. A vaccine developed by the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) was initiated into clinical trials in late 2011, a project in which Bharat Biotech had manufactured the vaccine. Gennova Biopharmaceuticals too has been an active participant in the development of a malaria vaccine.
Dr Sanjay Singh, CEO, Gennova Biopharmaceuticals, said that, "We have multiple projects targeting the different stages of the life cycle of the malarial parasite. The first candidate from Gennova will head for clinical trials soon. Another project initiated a year and a half back is studying people that have shown a natural immunity to the malarial parasite. By analyzing the monoclonal antibodies isolated from this population, we hope to gain further understanding in this field."
The launch of Biological E's indigenously developed Japanese Encephalitis vaccine, too was the result of years of hard work and efforts, as well as a successful collaboration with Intercell, a Venna-based company that had done the early development work on the vaccine.