The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Molecular Biophysics Unit department will develop a vaccine for Covid-19. A team headed by Raghavan Varadarajan from the department will work on to develop a rapidly producible vaccine for protection to front-line health workers, senior citizens and individuals with co-morbidities such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Going ahead with the previous studies on 2003 SARS-CoV virus, they have shown that that antibodies against the spike glycoprotein found on the surface of the earlier 2003 SARS-CoV virus inhibit viral infection in cell culture, and confer protection against infection in animal models.
"Hence, we and others are attempting to design and test variants of the spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 as vaccine candidates. Immunization with a vaccine should provide significant protection to individuals at high risk of aggravated illness upon infection. Previous studies have shown," the team states.
A number of spike protein derivatives have been designed and characterized at IISc. These are being tested in animal models through the IISc incubated start-up, Mynvax.
"The design which shows the best results in animals will be advanced to the development of production technology, safety and toxicity testing, followed by GMP manufacturing for use in Phase-1 clinical trials. We estimate that at least 100 million doses will be required to meet India’s requirement if the SARS-CoV-2 infection persists for the medium to long-term," the team explains.
The team estimates four months to identify a first-generation vaccine candidate, develop the production technology in eight months and start human clinical trial in a year....