Pune’s Contribution to COVID 19 Vaccine Development

Pune’s contribution to COVID 19 vaccine development

Pune’s Contribution to COVID 19 Vaccine Development

The regular time period that it takes for the development of a vaccine is 10-15 years, but when it came to the deadly COVID 19 that witnessed the world getting shut and the toll going up at an alarming rate, India developed a vaccine in a record time of 10 months.
The nation’s scientific research and vaccine manufacturing ecosystem geared up for the challenge and in 2020 when COVID -19 cases surged, the nation not only succeeded in reaching out with 1.98 billion doses of free vaccine to all parts of the country including remote regions but also supplied over 235 million total supplies of the vaccines to 98 countries of the world. The recovery journey from the deadly virus was marked by readiness of hubs such as Pune in the country which already had world class infrastructure for pharma-manufacturing. According to a report by National Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (NICDC), Maharashtra has the highest number of US FDA approved plants in India and many of them have contributed to the COVID 19 vaccine development drive in the country. As a large number of these FDA approved plants are based in Pune, Maharashtra’s pharmaceutical and biotechnology hub, it is worthwhile to look at the contribution made by the region to COVID 19 treatment.

SII, world’s largest vaccine manufacturer based in Pune
Vaccine manufacturer
The Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), which is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer partnered with multiple companies to develop Covishield vaccine with the University of Oxford for supply in the UK, India and also the Sputnik V vaccine. The SII has also developed a domestic test kit for COVID 19 for India .
The Prime Minister made a personal visit to the Serum Institute to laud the efforts of Mr. Cyrus Poonawalla and Mr. Adar Poonawalla for developing low-cost vaccines that has helped to save lives.

Gennova Pharmaceuticals develops India’s first mRNA vaccine
Gennova Pharmaceuticals
Gennova Pharmaceuticals, based in Pune’s TCG International Biotech Park (TCGIBP), has developed India’s first mRNA vaccination for COVID 19 and received approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) last year.

Gennova’s vaccine will be available in two doses — one at 6 months and another 4 months later — to protect newborn babies against infection with this virus that causes pneumonia and encephalitis among children between 1 month-old and 5-years-old . Dr Sanjay Singh, the CEO and Executive Director of Gennova Biopharmaceuticals, a master innovator himself, who facilitated the launched many critical drugs is behind the company’s path-breaking efforts to bring COVID 19 in control.

My Lab Discovery Solutions develops test kits, grows 100X times
Mylab Discovery Solutions evolved from a startup backed by Adar Poonawalla during the COVID-19 phase by producing country’s first indigenous RTPCR kits, diagnostic products such as CoviSelf, and CoviSwift, touted as the world’s first point-of-care COVID testing solution. The revenues of the company rose to Rs 825.42 crore during FY21 from Rs 8.2 crore in FY20.

Hikal sets up API manufacturing unit
COVID 19 requires is a novel, high-dose vaccine that needs to be manufactured in large quantities. To meet this need, Hikal Pune is setting up an active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) manufacturing facility for producing COVID 19 vaccine. The company has received the license from the Drug Controller General of India to manufacture this product and has also received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for clinical trials in humans.

The COVID 19 pandemic witnessed the alignment of industry and academia and hubs such as the Central Drug Research Institute, Pune which is home to many institutes of national and international repute rose to prominence. The continuing work of National Institute of Virology (NIV) that has established the diagnostic test protocols for the nation for COVID 19, and constant monitoring of the evolution of Corona virus by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has been adding to the efforts of the country to keep the impact of the spread of the virus in control.