“ICMR partners with BBIL for developing indigenous coronavirus vaccine."
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has partnered with biotech firm Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) to develop a fully indigenous vaccine for COVID-19 using the virus strain isolated at ICMR’s National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune. The strain has been successfully transferred from NIV to Bharat Biotech International Ltd. (BBIL). A press release from ICMR stated that work on vaccine development has been initiated between the two partners. ICMR-NIV will provide continuous support to BBIL for vaccine development. Both entities will seek fast-track approvals to expedite vaccine development, subsequent animal studies and clinical evaluation of the candidate vaccine, the press release added. Last month, Union Health Minister Dr Harshvardhan informed that a high-level task force has been formed to work on the frontiers of science related to drug testing and vaccines. India has so far recorded 59,662 cases of COVID-19 which includes 1,981 deaths. In the last 24 hours, 3,320 new confirmed cases were reported while 1307 patients were cured. The fatality rate is 3.3 per cent and the recovery rate is 29.9 per cent, Dr Harshvardhan informed on Saturday. He also said that India will not face the situation that developed countries like Italy, Unites States, Spain but preparations have been made if the pandemic worsens. "We do not anticipate a very worst type of situation in our country like many other developed countries but still we have prepared the whole country for the worst situation," Harsh Vardhan said.