Serum Institute of India has been approached by WHO for developing a vaccine against the swine flu-causing H1N1 virus.
Serum Institute of India, a Pune-based private manufacturer of vaccines in India, has already in the process of developing the swine flu vaccine.
“Our scientist have already started getting things ready so they can start work when we can get the H1N1 strain,” Dr Suresh Jadav executive director, Serum Institute of India quoted as saying.
Serum Institute of India is expecting the isolated strains of the H1N1 sent to them shortly from WHO laboratories.
Once they receive the virus, Serum Institute scientists will first try to manipulate the virus strain in different cell lines to see how it grows.
Currently, Serum Institute of India is in the process of obtaining permission from the Drug Controller General of India for starting the pre-clinical and clinical development of the H1N1 vaccine.
Serum Institute of India has been provided with financial and technical assistance by WHO for developing a vaccine against avian flu for the last two years.
Serum Institute of India will now put the avian flu vaccine development on hold and concentrate its effort on the H1N1 vaccine, Dr Jadhav stated.
WHO is scrambling for a vaccine against H1N1 virus as swine flu spreads rapidly across the geographies. Swine flu has already affected 20 countries across the world. WHo had already raised the alertness alertness level to 5 – next to the highest- last week There is no vaccine available against swine flu. WHO has already approached half a dozen vaccine manufactures across the world including Serum Institute to explore the possibility of developing a vaccine against swine flu which is threatening to become a pandemic, any time soon.
Swine flu’s potential to reconfigure its genetic material and become more deadly is a major concern for scientists.
The newest outbreak has proved itself to be relatively mild outside Mexico, where 19 of the 20 confirmed deaths were reported. Human cases of the disease have been confirmed in 30 U.S. states and 19 countries, according to the CDC and the World Health Organization, a global agency that may declare a pandemic.
In the Asian region, South Korea confirmed its first case of swine flu.Hong Kong has already diagnosed one person with swine flu.
Founded in 1966, Serum Institute of India Ltd. is the world’s largest producer of measles and DTP group of vaccines in the world. It is estimated that two out of every three children immunized in the world is vaccinated by a vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute. Serum’s tetanus anti-toxin and anti-snake venom serum, followed by DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis) group of Vaccines and then later on MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) group of vaccines have been used in 140 countries across the globe.
Serum Institute of India have recently set up Serum Bio Pharma Park, India’s first biotech Special Economic Zone (SEZ). The SEZ will allow Serum Institute of India to avail various tax benefits such as income tax, import duty on capital goods etc. This has encouraged a lot of foreign companies to partner with Serum Institute of India to avail and share these benefits.