Hyderabad-based Aurobindo Pharmaceuticals is gearing up to develop and manufacture multiple Covid-19 vaccine candidates. It has taken help from the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) for its own vaccine candidate and has also tied up with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for the multiple vaccine candidates the latter is developing.
Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a not-for-profit enterprise set up by the DBT, has facilitated the establishment of the r-VSV vaccine manufacturing platform for Aurobindo. The company is developing a Sars-Cov-2 vaccine through its wholly-owned US-based subsidiary Auro Vaccines based on its proprietry replication-competent attenuated (weakened) recombinant vesicular stomatitis (VSV, VesiculoVax) vaccine delivery platform, the company said. To put in simple words, the vaccine technology uses a VSV or vesicular stomatitis virus that has been genetically engineered. Similar technology was used to develop Ebola vaccine.
Aurobindo said that it setting up a manufacturing plant for viral vaccines. Auro Vaccines has a 300-million-dose-per-annum plant, informed a source. Currently, no other vaccine is getting manufactured at the site and thus the entire capacity can be dedicated to Covid-19 vaccines if need be.
Meanwhile, the company has also tied up with the CSIR to develop vaccines. CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and Aurobindo Pharma, Aurobindo will partner with CSIR for development of several novel Covid-19 vaccines. Three CSIR labs-- CCMB Hyderabad, Institute of Medical Technology (IMTECH), Chandigarh and Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (IICB), Kolkata--are developing vaccine candidates using different technology platforms. Aurobindo will undertake clinical development and commercialisation of the vaccines.