An Indian pharmaceutical firm claims that it has developed the world’s first vaccine against mosquito-borne Zika virus, the News Agency of Nigeria has reported.
The Head of the Biotech International Limited, Dr. Krishna Ella, said at a news conference that it had already filed for a patent for the Zika vaccine.
“On Zika, we are probably the first vaccine company in the world to file a vaccine candidate patent about nine months ago,” he said.
Ella said the firm, which is based in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh’s capital Hyderabad, had sought the Indian government’s help for carrying out human and animal trials for the two candidate vaccines, which have been developed by its scientists, using a live Zika virus.
The claims came a day after the World Health Organisation said that the Zika virus poses a global public health emergency requiring a united response.
The virus has been linked to cases of microcephaly, in which babies are born with underdeveloped brains.
There have been around 4,000 reported cases of microcephaly in Brazil alone since October.
However, till date, there has been not a single reported case of Zika virus attack in India, though the government was said to have tested a number of samples.
As the world searches for a vaccine and other global companies take first steps on research, the Bharat Biotech International Limited in Hyderabad says it has patented the Zika vaccine.
Dr Ella said in a best case scenario his company can make one million doses of the vaccine in four months. He has sought the direct intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that the vaccine’s development and delivery is fast-tracked, cutting through the red tape of regulatory clearances, pointing out that the vaccine can help countries such as Brazil, a fellow member of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) group, and pave way for what he called “vaccine diplomacy.
Source – myafricanow