Health

Coronavirus | Hyderabad CSIR lab helped develop key molecule for Covaxin

IICT chief S. Chandrasekhar with Bharat Biotech CMD Krishna Ella. Photo: Special Arrangement  

The Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), a Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) lab here, played a role in the development of Covaxin, the indigenous vaccine developed by city-based Bharat Biotech International Limited.

The vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech is a highly purified, whole virion, inactivated SARS-CoV2. The vaccine has been formulated with ‘Algel-IMDG’, which contains chemically absorbed TLR7/8 as an agonist or an adjuvant onto aluminium hydroxide gel to generate the requisite type of immune responses without damaging the body.

The firm had approached the IICT to develop the synthetic route for the adjuvant molecule TLR 7/8 with indigenous chemicals at an affordable price and with highest purity. This indigenously developed molecule aided Bharat Biotech to scale up the production of the adjuvant, said an official release on Friday.

IICT Director S. Chandrasekhar, along with his team consisting of senior scientists M. Mohan Krishna and Raji Reddy, completed the chemical process in a record four months in the development of analytical method for testing TLR7/8 adjuvant molecule and also got the method validation procedures through National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accredited lab.

“The process technology developed by CSIR-IICT for the molecule is playing an important role in the production of adjuvant for COVAXIN™,” said Bharat Biotech chairman and managing director Krishna Ella. CSIR director-general Shekhar Mande complimented the CSIR-IICT team for rising to the occasion in making the process affordable and enabling development of the molecule in record time. He mentioned this was yet another instance of CSIR’s commitment towards ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ or self-reliant India.

CSIR labs, apart from helping the pharma industry launch repurposed drugs through process development and conducting clinical trials, have also extensively contributed towards launching of diagnostic kits including ‘Feluda’ and dry swab diirect RT-PCR method for the screening of SARS-CoV-2, he added.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 10:09:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/iict-helped-develop-key-molecule-for-covaxin/article33956688.ece

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