Researchers have informed Prime Minister Narendra Modi that more than 30 coronavirus vaccine candidates are in different states of development. A few are moving forward to trial stages, researchers told PM Modi during a meeting of the task force.
PM Modi chaired a meeting of the task force on coronavirus vaccine development to gauge India's progress in finding a cure. He took a detailed review of the vaccine development, drug discovery, diagnosis and testing.
The Prime Minister's Office released a statement after the meeting and stated that Indian companies have come across as innovators in early-stage vaccine development research. The statement added that there is a three-pronged plan for the development of a vaccine. The first is repurposing existing drugs. There are at least four drugs that are undergoing synthesis and examination.
"Secondly, the development of new candidate drugs and molecules are being driven by linking high performance computational approached with laboratory verification. Thirdly, plant extracts and products are being examined for general anti-viral properties," it added.
The government last month constituted a national task force to oversee the progress on vaccine development and drug testing. The task force acts as a bridge between academia, research institutions and international collaborations in drug testing and vaccine development. The task force includes representatives from the ministry of AYUSH, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), department of science and technology (DST), department of biotechnology (DBT), council of scientific and industrial research (CSIR), defence research and development organisation (DRDO), directorate general of health services (DGHS) and drug controller general of India (DCGI).The task force is co-chaired by principal scientific advisory to the government of India, K Vijay Raghavan, and Niti Aayog member Dr Vinod Paul.