Guwahati, April 29 (IANS) Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT-G) on Wednesday announced a collaboration with pharmaceutical company Hester Biosciences Limited to develop a vaccine against coronavirus (COVID-19).
The vaccine is expected to be ready by the end of this year for animal studies. The work is currently in its early stage of development, IITG said in a statement.
The vaccine will be based on a recombinant avian paramyxovirus based vector platform. The recombinant avian paramyxovirus-1 will be used to express the immunogenic protein of SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The recombinant avian paramyxovirus-1 expressing the SARS-CoV-2 protein could be used as a vaccine candidate for further study, the Institute said.
"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," said researcher Dr Sachin Kumar, Associate Professor, Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, IIT Guwahati.
According to the Institute, the avian paramyxovirus-1 has been explored as a vaccine vector for various animals and human pathogens.
The avian paramyxovirus-1 has been used to express the immunogenic protein of human pathogens such as HIV, avian influenza virus, human parainfluenza virus, SARS-CoV.
Similarly, it has also been explored as a vaccine vector for animal pathogens such as infectious bursal disease virus, infectious laryngotracheitis virus, bovine herpes virus, Nipah virus etc.
The research team has generated the recombinant avian paramyxovirus-1 based vaccine flatform for classical swine fever and Japanese encephalitis. The role of the Institute is to produce the recombinant vaccine candidate.
"IITG and 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," said Rajiv Gandhi, CEO and MD, Hester Biosciences Limited.