Ahmedabad-based pharma major Cadila Healthcare (Zydus Cadila) has announced an accelerated research programme for developing a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, (COVID-19) with multiple teams in India and Europe.
Given the extent and rapidity of the global spread of the virus, which originated in China, the fast-tracked research programme will be based on two approaches, including development of a DNA vaccine and a live attenuated recombinant measles virus vaccine. The epidemic, which was detected last December, has claimed around 1,500 lives and infected over 66,000 people.
“There is an urgent and pressing need to develop a safe and efficacious vaccine that can prevent the spread of this deadly virus. Our researchers are working to bring a speedy solution to this most devastating outbreak in recent times,” said Pankaj R Patel, Zydus Group chairman. The first approach deals with developing a DNA vaccine against the major viral membrane protein responsible for the cell entry of COVID-19. According to the company, the plasmid DNA would be introduced into the host cells, where it would be translated into the viral protein. The method aims at eliciting strong immune response that would be mediated by the human immune system’s cellular and humoral arms, which play a vital role in protection from disease.-Business Standard