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COVID-19 vaccine testing centre set up at IISc

The testing centre established at the viral Bio Safety Level-3 facility at the Centre for Infectious Disease Research, IISc.

The testing centre established at the viral Bio Safety Level-3 facility at the Centre for Infectious Disease Research, IISc.

A COVID-19 vaccine testing centre has been established at the viral Bio Safety Level-3 (BSL-3) facility at the Centre for Infectious Disease Research (CIDR), Indian Institute of Science (IISc). The centre will test solutions to tackle the pandemic — from vaccines and antivirals to materials and equipment — with the help of academic and industry partners. Tests will be conducted via a fee-for-service model, said IISc in a release on Friday.

The vaccine testing centre has been funded by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council under the Department of Biotechnology (DBT-BIRAC). The lab has been helping industry partners in evaluating COVID-19 antibodies. “The DBT-BIRAC support will allow augmentation of the existing facility with high-end equipment and initial support for personnel operating the facility. Research will also be conducted to develop high-throughput assays for evaluating antivirals and vaccines against SARS-CoV-2,” said the release.

In addition to SARS-CoV-2, this facility will also support the development of antivirals and vaccines against other viral pathogens responsible for diseases such as influenza, dengue, chikungunya and HIV through similar fee-for-service collaborations with academic and industry partners.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Division of Biological Sciences at IISc had commissioned the establishment of a dedicated viral BSL-3 facility at CIDR with funding from DBT-IISc partnership, to support research into highly pathogenic human viruses, said IISc in a press release.

The construction of the facility was completed in October 2020 and it became operational in January 2021 with all the necessary Standard Operating Procedures. It was made available to academic labs (within and outside IISc) and the industry for training personnel and carrying out antiviral research, the release stated. “By February, the lab, which studies emerging viral pathogens, began working on establishing cell culture and animal models to study SARS-CoV-2 in the viral BSL-3 facility,” stated the release. This includes isolation, growth and characterisation of SARS-CoV-2 viruses from COVID-19 patient samples and the establishment of a Syrian hamster model for evaluating COVID-19 vaccines and antivirals.


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Printable version | May 18, 2022 7:27:58 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/covid-19-vaccine-testing-centre-set-up-at-iisc/article34981715.ece