Hyderabad-based vaccines and biotherapeutics manufacturer Bharat Biotech, which is getting ready with an indigenous H1N1 swine flu candidate vaccine, would go for clinical trials in two months, according to its chairman and managing director Krishna M Ella.
Bharat Biotech apart, two other Indian companies - Serum Institute of India and Panacea - are also making the vaccine.
Speaking to Business Standard, Ella said swine flu has not reached a stage where it could not be controlled. He, however, did not give a timeframe in which the trials would be completed. “It all depends on the government,”’ he said, adding that the government has eased the clinical trial norms. He did not elaborate on how many doses of the vaccine would be needed to give protection against the virus.
According to him, diseases would continue to come. “First it was avian flu, now it is A H1N1. Tomorrow, it could be H2N2,” he said, adding that the changing environment and deforestation contribute to the increasing disease burden in the country. The company invested about Rs 7 crore for the vaccine and has a capacity to produce 10 million doses. But it would raise the capacity depending on the need, he said.
Early this month, the Union health ministry said it would place orders for the vaccines once the companies declare the number of dosages required.
Among others, Bharat Biotech supplies more than 300 million doses of polio vaccines in the country and exports the Hepatitis B vaccine to many countries.