You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

PM reviews status of India's efforts in developing coronavirus vaccine

Health Medical Pharma

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday reviewed the status of India's efforts in developing a coronavirus vaccine and emphasised that what is possible in a crisis should be a part of the country's routine scientific functioning.

Chairing a meeting of the Task Force on Corona Vaccine Development, Drug Discovery, Diagnosis and Testing, he took note of the "extraordinary coming together" of academia, industry and government, combined with speedy but efficient regulatory process.

Modi felt that such coordination and speed should be embedded into a standard operating procedure, an official statement said.

He emphasised that what is possible in a crisis should be a part of our routine way of scientific functioning.

Appreciating the scientific coming together of computer science, chemistry and biotechnology in drug discovery, the prime minister suggested that a hackathon be held on this subject, linking computer science to synthesis and testing in the laboratory.

The successful candidates from the hackathon could be taken up by the start- ups for further development and scaling up.

Modi added that the innovative and original manner in which Indian scientists, from basic to applied sciences, have come together with industry is "heartening".

"This kind of pride, originality and sense of purpose should dominate our approach going ahead.

"It is only then that we can be amongst the best in the world and not followers, in science," the statement said quoting him.

Indian vaccine companies are well known for their quality, manufacturing capacity and global presence, the statement said, adding that today they have come across as innovators in early stage vaccine development research.

Similarly, Indian academia and start-ups have also pioneered in this area.

Over 30 Indian vaccines are in different stages of coronavirus vaccine development, with a few going on to the trial stages, it said.

Similarly, in drug development, three approaches are being taken. First, the repurposing of existing drugs. At least four drugs are undergoing synthesis and examination in this category. Secondly, the development of new candidate drugs and molecules are being driven by linking high performance computational approached with laboratory verification. Thirdly, plant extracts and products are being examined for general anti-viral properties.

In diagnosis and testing, several academic research institutions and start-ups have developed new tests, both for the RT-PCR approach and for the antibody detection.

In addition, by linking laboratories all over the country, capacity for both these kinds of tests have been enormously scaled up. The problem of importing reagents for testing has been addressed by consortia of Indian start- ups and industry, meeting current requirements.

The current thrust also holds promise for the development of a robust long-term industry in this area, it said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Tue, May 05 2020. 22:58 IST