Principal Scientific Advisor Dr. K. Vijay Raghavan said that 30 groups in the country are trying to make vaccines against Corona. These include large industry groups, scientific institutions, and scientists at the individual level. There are usually four types of vaccines against such viruses and four types of vaccines are being prepared in the country to control the corona.
Dr. Raghavan and NITI Aayog member Dr. V.K. Pal shared information about the ongoing research on Corona at a press conference on Thursday (May 28). He said that there are four types of vaccines. An mRNA vaccine in which the virus is injected with a genetic material component. Another is standard vaccines in which weak copies of the virus are used as vaccines. The third type of vaccine would involve coding of a protein of Kovid-19 in the backbone of another virus. The fourth is the vaccines in which the virus protein is produced in the lab. Work on these four types of vaccines is being done in the country.
He said that three types of efforts are going on. One that we ourselves are doing. Others, which are in partnership, but outside agencies are leading. The third ones are with external agencies and we are leading. He said that Indian vaccines are used all over the world. Two out of three children receive vaccines made in India. Vaccine companies in the country are also doing research on vaccines themselves and are also doing research partnerships with other companies.
He said that preclinical studies on the backbone of the flu vaccine are likely to be completed by October. The protein vaccine is expected to be ready in February. Similarly, some startups associated with the Indian Institute of Science have started work on vaccines of many institutes and external agencies. He said that it takes 10-15 years to make vaccines and huge expenditure is incurred. To reduce this time, more than a hundred projects have been launched simultaneously in the world. Even after becoming a vaccine, it is a challenge to reach people.
Human testing of the drug Within six months, similar research is going on on several drugs and it is hoped that the drug is made in partnership can reach the human trials in the next six months. Many new and old medicines are being researched. These include Fabiperamir, a plant preparation drug by CSIR, ACQS, MW, plasma trials of ICMR, trials of Hydroxychloroquine, Remdesvimir, Arbidal, BCG vaccine trials, etc. He said that all these are in different stages. Many of these medicines are being repurposed, and many are new. It will take at least six months before the first human trials of new drugs begin.
No change in the virus
He said that the genome sequencing of coronavirus has been done in many laboratories. But there is no significant change in it. The changes are due to local reasons but have no effect on the functioning of the virus.
He said that a hackathon is being conducted by CSIR-SICTE to discover new drugs.