Indian biotechnology and biopharmaceutical company Biological E has been selected as a recipient of mRNA technology from the World Health Organization (WHO) technology transfer hub.
Bio E already manufactures a number of critical vaccines, including Corbevax, a second-generation vaccine for COVID-19.
“After reviewing a number of proposals from India, WHO’s Product Development for Vaccines Advisory Committee (PDVAC) today selected the company BiologicalE (Bio E) as a recipient of mRNA technology from the WHO technology transfer hub,” the WHO said in a statement issued on Friday.
“WHO and partners will work with the Indian government and Bio E to develop a roadmap and put in place the necessary training and support so that the company can start producing mRNA vaccines as soon as possible,” the apex public health body said.
In order to trigger an immune response, either a weakened or inactivated germ is injected into the body through several vaccines. The mRNA vaccines use a messenger RNA created in a laboratory to teach the human cells how to make a protein that in turn triggers an immune response inside the body against a particular disease. The immune response will fight with the real virus when it enters the body. India currently doesn’t have a covid-19 vaccine made on mRNA platform. However, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are yet to be available in India as the federal government is open to include them in the its national covid-19 program.
Primarily set up to address the COVID-19 emergency, the WHO technology transfer hub has the potential to expand manufacturing capacity for other products as well, including treatments, and target other priorities such as malaria, HIV and cancer, it said.
Announced on 21 June 2021, the objective of the technology transfer hub is to build capacity in low- and middle-income countries to produce mRNA vaccines through a centre of excellence and training (the mRNA vaccine technology hub).
Hyderabad-based Bio E recently received emergency use authorisation (EUA) from India's drug regulator for its coronavirus vaccine--Corbevax--which is country’s first indigenously developed Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) Protein sub-unit vaccine against COVID-19 for the 12 to 18-year age group.
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