Product Launches - Indian Immunologicals Ltd

Product Launches

World's first combination DNA vaccine for rabies developed.

The Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and Indian Immunologicals, Hyderabad have jointly developed the world's first combination vaccine containing DNA vaccine and a low of dose of cell culture vaccine. Animal toxicity tests of the vaccine are conducted at the National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad and the combination vaccine is expected to cost less than the existing ones in the market.

Prof. P N Rangarajan, associate professor, biochemistry department, IISc has worked on combination rabies vaccine (CRV) for the past five years. IISc has teamed up with Indian Immunologicals, which is now conducting various studies to scale up and undertake commercial production of the vaccine. It may take some time to launch the product in the market.

Permission for clinical trials is yet to be obtained from Drugs Controller General of India. The department of biotechnology (DBT) is funding the current tests under Jai Vignan Vaccine Mission.

The latest rabies vaccine available in the market for veterinary and humans are cell culture vaccines, which is expensive to manufacture. But, in most government hospitals, the nerve tissue vaccine is used for rabies, which has been banned worldwide, informs Prof. Rangarajan. 

The research programme of the CRV at IISc commenced with the development of a DNA rabies vaccine (DRV) by taking a gene from the rabies virus and introducing it into the multiplying bacteria. But a vaccine produced in this method, was only 50-70 per cent effective, though the cost of production was less than that of the cell culture vaccine. Working further on its potency, the IISc team of scientists found that addition of small quantity of the modern cell culture vaccine enhances the potency of DRV and this unique combination.

"What we aim to do is to bring the world's first vaccine containing DNA to the market," said Prof. Rangarajan. The principle works best on both human and veterinary vaccine and has shown positive results on mice and cattle.

The IISc team has already filed an international patent under the PCT [Patent Cooperative Treaty] and its International Search Report has confirmed it as a unique vaccine, informed Prof. Rangarajan. "We now have to file for patents in all PCT countries, which would take another year."