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Centre issues tender for development of ‘Monkeypox’ vaccine and diagnostic kits


The Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi (ICMR) has invited Expression of Interest (EOI) from the experienced vaccine manufacturer, Pharma companies, R & D Institutions and In-vitro Diagnostic Kit manufacturers for development of vaccine and diagnostic kits against ‘Monkeypox’ disease in public-private partnership mode. According to the notification, the last day of submission is by August 10, 2022.

The ICMR said that, "We are looking for the development of a safe and effective monkeypox vaccine for eliciting strong, durable and broad immune responses towards robust clinical protection against the monkeypox virus as well as kits for diagnosis of monkeypox virus", a senior official said.

The development follows successful isolation of the monkeypox virus from the clinical specimen obtained from a patient by the National Institute of Virology, Pune. In case of the latest pandemic, the Wuhan virus – Covid-19, NIV Pune had succeeded in isolating the virus which was then transferred to Bharat Biotech, a Hyderabad based firm that developed Covaxin.


With the fear of increasing number of Monkeypox cases in the country and also declaration by WHO (World Health Organization) designating it a global health emergency, many states of the country have issued an alert. Monkeypox has affected nearly 18000 people globally with majority of the cases being reported from Europe. India however, has reported three cases from Kerala and one case from Delhi. One had gone to Shimla and returned to his home in Delhi and this has traumatized the healthcare system.

According to WHO, small pox vaccines can be effective against monkeypox. WHO also said that this vaccine should be given only to those who have been in direct contact with a monkeypox patient.  However, mass vaccination is not recommended.

Adar Poonawala, CEO of SII (Serum Institute of India) said that they are considering developing a ‘mRNA’ vaccine for the monkeypox with their global partner Novavax. Along with this, the idea of importing a smallpox vaccine manufactured by Denmark’s company Bavarian Nordic is also underway.

The SII (Serum Institute of India) Pune, was instrumental in producing the “Covishield” vaccine in India. Although the vaccine was developed by a British company, most of the trials were conducted with SII.


Edited by : Shreyoshi Mitra

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Tags: #virus #vaccine #WHO #ICMR #monkeypox #pharma #NIV


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