COVID19 vaccine
Representative image.

IIT Guwahati, which is working to develop COVID19 vaccine, recently collaborated with Hester Biosciences Limited and they expect to ready the vaccine by this year-end.

IIT Guwahati and Hester Biosciences Limited, a pharmaceutical company based at Ahmedabad in Gujarat, signed an agreement on April 15, 2020 to jointly develop the vaccine.

According to a report, the vaccine will be based on recombinant avian paramyxovirus based vector platform.

The recombinant avian paramyxovirus-1 will be used to express the immunogenic protein of SARS-CoV-2.

According to the report, the recombinant avian paramyxovirus-1 expressing the SARS-CoV-2 protein could be used as a vaccine candidate for further study.

The avian paramyxovirus-1 has been explored as a vaccine vector for various animals and human pathogens, said the institute.

The role of IIT Guwahati is to produce the recombinant vaccine candidate.

The research team of IIT Guwahati is headed by Dr. Sachin Kumar, associate professor at the Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering.

The report quoted Dr Kumar as saying: “It is too early to comment on the efficacy and immunogenicity of the vaccine, however, we will be able to reveal more details about this vaccine after the results of animal studies are obtained.”

The report quoted Rajiv Gandhi, CEO and MD of Hester Biosciences Limited as saying: “In the current pandemic situation of COVID19, the world is looking at developing preventive and curative measures to safeguard mankind.”

“IITG & Hester have collaborated to develop and manufacture a recombinant vaccine against COVID-19 disease as a preventive measure. Hester’s involvement would be from master seed development up to release of the commercial vaccine,” added Gandhi.

Gandhi said Hester has 23 years of experience in vaccine manufacturing to be used for veterinary purposes.

The company produces vaccines by using fermentation, tissue culture, continuous cell line and chick embryo origin methods.

“Hester has a fairly good understanding and the capability to get into human vaccines, specifically into a vaccine against the COVID-19 disease,” he further said.

The process of developing the vaccine is now in the initial stage. IIT Guwahati and Hester Biosciences Limited expect to ready the vaccine by this year-end.

IIT Guwahati director Prof. TG Sitharam is hopeful that the outcome of the collaboration will be a win-win situation for the country and will lead to breakthrough results in the prevention of COVID19 as well as provide leads for vaccine developments to fight other diseases.

Northeast Now on March 25 reported that IIT Guwahati researchers were working to develop coronavirus vaccine.


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