The ICMR yesterday announced its research collaboration with BBIL to develop a coronavirus vaccine. The leading Indian medical research company said in a statement that it had transferred the virus strain isolated at the National Institute of Virology, Pune, which is an ICMR institute to BBIL.
No further details were available worldwide on pre-clinical studies. However, this appears to be a very promising step forward to successfully develop the vaccine for COVID-19.
Yesterday’s announcement is BBIL’s third stated initiative in developing the coronavirus vaccine. On April 20 also, the DBT (Department of Biotechnology) announced that it will provide funding to support the company to successfully develop a vaccine employing the inactivated rabies vector platform.
The company said on April 3 that it was working on “CoroFlu – a one COVID-19 nasal vaccine” that was built on a flu vaccine that had proven to be safe in humans. BBIL was a part of an international collaboration of virologists at the University of Madison and Wisconsin. Vaccine company FluGen was also a part of this project.
The Business Development Head at BBIL, Raches Ella, said, “Bharat Biotech will manufacture the vaccine, conduct clinical trials and prepare to produce almost 300 million doses of vaccine for global distribution. Under the collaboration agreement, FluGen will transfer its existing manufacturing processes to Bharat Biotech to enable the company to scale up production and produce the vaccine for clinical trials”
Chairman and MD of BBIL, Dr. Krishna Ella also said in a statement, “We are very proud to participate in this project of national importance with ICMR and NIV. We will do everything to make this program successful in our nation endeavour to combat COVID-19 pandemic”