New Delhi, Oct 5 (PTI) The Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI) has now been recognised by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) as one of the global network of laboratories for a centralised assessment of COVID-19 vaccines, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) said on Monday.
The mandate of the bioassay laboratory at the Faridabad-based THSTI, a premier research institute under the DBT, is to provide validated assays for vaccine development at par with global standards.
The CEPI network will initially involve six laboratories, one each in Canada, Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Bangladesh and India.
Under the CEPI global network, the laboratories will use the same reagents and follow a common set of protocols to measure the immune response of multiple vaccine candidates under development and trial.
'This will greatly harmonise the vaccine trial process, allow different vaccine candidates to be compared and speed up the selection of the most effective candidate,' the DBT said.
The Ind-CEPI mission for the establishment of a BSL-3 facility is a translational laboratory for platform technologies and a bioassay laboratory for development of assays to measure clinical immunogenicity.
The DBT has been implementing the Ind-CEPI mission, 'India Centric Epidemic Preparedness through Rapid Vaccine Development: Supporting Indian Vaccine Development'.
The objectives of the mission are aligned with the Global Initiative of Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness for Innovation (CEPI), a foundation that takes donations from public, private, philanthropic and civil society organisations to finance independent research projects for developing vaccines against emerging infectious diseases and aims to strengthen the development of vaccines and associated competencies or technologies for the diseases of epidemic potential in India.
Renu Swarup, Secretary, DBT said, 'The Department of Biotechnology is supporting efforts for COVID-19 vaccine development and testing.' More than 30 vaccines are at different stages of development with three in human trials and nearly four in advanced stages of preclinical, she noted.
'We are very pleased that the bioassay laboratory at the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute has been identified by the CEPI for centralised immunoassay analysis for COVID-19 vaccines under development globally.
'It is well-positioned to run comparability studies with other laboratories internationally and will form an important part of the global network. This is another excellent example of Ind CEPI and CEPI Partnership,' Swarup said. PTI PR RC