A well-known manufacturer of human and veterinary vaccines, Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL) will kickstart research along with an Australian University to develop a vaccine for coronavirus (COVID-19). The Hyderabad-based company has entered into an agreement with Griffith University to conduct exploratory research.
The scientists from IIL and the university will use the latest codon de-optimization technology to develop the vaccine. In the past, the technology has been used to reduce the virulence of several RNA viruses including Zika virus.
According to IIL, the technology looks promising for developing a vaccine for prophylactic, active, single dose immunization against coronavirus in humans, with an enhanced safety profile. The vaccine is expected to provide long-lasting protection with a single dose administration with an anticipated safety profile similar to other licensed vaccines for active immunisation.
Dr Prasanna Deshpande, Deputy Managing Director, IIL said, “After evaluating various options being followed across the world, we decided to develop a Live Attenuated COVID-19 vaccine based on codon de-optimization technology. With our dedicated research and development capabilities supported with an excellent team of scientists and engineers, IIL is committed to developing high-quality vaccines that are affordable. We are confident that this new cross-continental collaboration will yield the desired results.”
Upon completion of the research, the vaccine strain will be transferred to IIL and the vaccine maker will work accordingly with the country’s regulator – CDSCO (The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation) - to further conduct clinical trials which will be taken up in a phased manner. IIL intends to use its existing Vero cell platform technology for mass production of the virus.
Indian Immunologicals Limited is already working with Griffith University, Australia for conducting research and development of Zika virus vaccine which is currently at pre-clinical toxicology testing stage.