IIT Guwahati collaborates with Hester Biosciences to develop COVID-19 vaccine

New Delhi/Guwahati, Apr 29 (PTI) Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IITG) on Wednesday said it has joined hands with Ahmedabad-based Hester Biosciences to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 and animal trials are likely to start by the end of this year.

The vaccine will be based on recombinant avian paramyxovirus-based vector platform, IITG said in a statement.

'IITG and Hester Biosciences expect the vaccine to be ready by the end of this year to start animal studies. The work is currently in its early stage of development,' it added The premier educational institute said that the recombinant avian paramyxovirus-1 will be used to express the immunogenic protein of SARS-CoV-2. 'The team at IITG has generated the recombinant avian paramyxovirus-1 based vaccine platform for Classical Swine Fever and Japanese Encephalitis. The role of the institute is to produce the recombinant vaccine candidate,' it added.

'The recombinant avian paramyxovirus-1 expressing the SARS-CoV-2 protein could be used as a vaccine candidate for further study,' it added.

Head of the research team Sachin Kumar, who is Associate Professor in the Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering at IIT Guwahati, said “It is too early to comment on the efficacy and immunogenicity of the vaccine, however, we will be able to reveal more details about this vaccine after the results of animal studies are obtained”.

“IITG and Hester have collaborated to develop and manufacture a recombinant vaccine against COVID-19 disease as a preventive measure. Hester’s involvement would be from master seed development up to release of the commercial vaccine,' Rajiv Gandhi, CEO and MD, Hester Biosciences said.

The agreement between the two organisations was signed earlier this month. PTI SID TR ANS ANS