Coronavirus: IIT Guwahati collaborates with Hester Biosciences to develop COVID-19 vaccine

The vaccine will be based on a recombinant avian paramyxovirus-based vector platform, the company said.

Ahmedabad-based pharmaceutical firm Hester Biosciences on Wednesday said it has collaborated with Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT-G) to develop a vaccine for COVID-19.

The agreement between the two organisations was signed on April 15, 2020.

The vaccine will be based on a recombinant avian paramyxovirus-based vector platform, the company said.

The recombinant avian paramyxovirus-1 will be used to express the immunogenic protein of SARS-CoV-2, which could then be used as a vaccine candidate for further study.

The role of the institute is to produce the recombinant vaccine candidate.

"IIT-G 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 the release of the commercial vaccine," Rajiv Gandhi, CEO and MD, Hester Biosciences said.

Head of the research team Sachin Kumar, who is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering at IIT-Guwahati, 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 the vaccine after the results of animal studies are obtained.

Earlier in March, Sachin Kumar's team confirmed that apart from the vaccine, they are also working to develop the first line of protection.

According to NorthEast Now, the institute had tweeted about a prototype of a Faceshield that they had developed, as per the guidelines of WHO. Led by Dr Supradip Das of the Department of Design, the team plans to create about 100 pieces in the first run.

The institute, like many others, has already created hand sanitisers as prescribed by the WHO. These sanitisers are distributed to everyone on the campus, including visitors.

(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)

Edited by Suman Singh


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