RGCB to have vaccine research and testing facility

BSL3 lab for handling airborne viruses to be set up

November 12, 2021 07:52 pm | Updated 07:52 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram

A vaccine testing and research facility for a host of ailments, including cancers and infectious diseases, will be set up on the second campus of the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) here, Union Minister of State (Independent charge) for Science and Technology Jitendra Singh announced on Friday.

Addressing the annual general body meeting of the RGCB held in New Delhi, he said the centre would be equipped with a BSL 3 facility for handling airborne viruses, including the one that spawned the COVID-19 pandemic. The facility would be the first of its kind in southern India.

The second campus of the RGCB, to be named as “Shri Guruji Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar National Centre for Complex Disease in Cancer and Viral Infection,” is expected to be ready for dedication to the nation in the next few months. The campus is coming up at Akkulam in the city.

Dr. Singh, who is also the president of the RGCB Society, said the RGCB would be developed as a hub for research and testing of multiple vaccines such as cancer vaccine and those for infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

“This will bring huge recognition for the RGCB in the specific area of vaccine research and development,” he noted.

The Minister lauded the RGCB’s model of supporting both innovative research and biotechnology incubation facility.

RGCB Director Chandrabhas Narayana explained the new facilities that would be created on the new campus. He said the centre would have cutting edge technologies, therapies, clinical trials for cancer vaccines, and immune therapeutics. It would also have facilities for therapies such as stem cell replacement, gene therapy, molecular tumour, targeting, and imaging.

Rajesh S. Gokhale, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Vishvajit Sahay, Additional Secretary and Financial Advisor, DBT, Sunil Kumar, Joint Secretary, DBT, Sundeep Sarin, Scientific Coordinator for RGCB at DBT, and Shekhar C. Mande, Director General, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, were among those attended the meeting.

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