ANDHRA PRADESH

Shantha Biotech develops four-in-one DTPH vaccine

Shantetra is combination of diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and hepatitis-B vaccine

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: Shantha Biotechnics Limited, a pioneer in biotech healthcare products has announced the availability of the first indigenously developed, four-in-one combination DTPH (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis and Hepatitis - B) vaccine, Shantetra.

The vaccine protects children against the four life-threatening infections and is available in vials of 0.5 ml and 5 ml packs. Shantetra can be administered to infants from sixth week onwards.

DTP and Hepatitis-B vaccine are part of the universal immunisation schedule for children.

Globally, combination vaccines are catching up as it reduces the number of injections, while providing higher compliance and logistical convenience.

"Shantetra combines high degree of safety and strong immunogenicity," K. Varaprasad Reddy, Managing Director, Shantha Biotech, told reporters here on Friday. "All the components have been developed indigenously," he added.

"There is no side affect except for pain where the injection is given," he remarked. He said 390 million doses of vaccine were required a year for vaccination globally. Of this, Shantha Biotech intends to position 70-80 million doses, he said.

Inspection by WHO

The company's Executive Director, Khalil Ahmed, said the product was targeted at large international market.

He said they were awaiting pre-qualification inspection by World Health Organisation (WHO).

"Once this is done in December, we will market the vaccine in Latin American and other countries," he added.

He said `Shantetra' would not eat into the Hepatitis-B and Shanvac products, he said.

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