A Hyderabad-based firm says it will begin research for a vaccine for the new coronavirus, a previously unknown pathogen that has sickened over 1.6 million people worldwide and killed more than 100,000.
Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL) has joined hands with Australia’s Griffith University to conduct exploratory research to develop a lead vaccine candidate.
Scientists from both institutions will develop a ‘Live Attenuated SARSCoV-2 vaccine’ using what’s called codon de-optimisation technology. (SARS-CoV-2 is the name of the novel coronavirus, which causes a respiratory illness called Covid-19.)
“The technology looks promising for developing a vaccine for prophylactic, active, single dose immunisation against the coronavirus in humans, with an enhanced safety profile,” IIL said in a statement.
When the research is done, the vaccine strain will be transferred to IIL, which will then work with the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation for phased clinical trials.
There are currently no vaccines or specific anti-viral treatments for the coronavirus, but some are being examined though clinical trials, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
In India, there are over 6,500 active cases, and 239 people have died, according to central government data updated at 8 am Saturday.