The National Immunogenicity & Biologics Evaluation Center (NIBEC) for assessing clinical immunogenicity of viral vaccines has started operations. Established jointly by Bharati Vidyapeeth University through its constituent unit Interactive Research School for Health Affairs (IRSHA) and BIRAC-DBT, Government of India through National Biopharma Mission, the facility was inaugurated virtually by Dr Renu Swarup, Secretary, DBT, Government of India in an e-inauguration ceremony presided by Dr Vishwajeet Kadam, Minister of State; Government of Maharashtra.
NIBEC, established in about 10,000 sq ft, has one BSL-3+, 4 BSL-2 and 10 BSL-1 laboratories for key immunogenicity evaluation tests like Plaque Reduction Neutralization Test (PRNT), Microneutralisation assay, IgM and IgG ELISA, developed, standardised and validated for dengue, chikungunya and SARS-CoV-2 viruses. Reportedly, the laboratory has already started associating closely with leading Indian vaccine manufacturing companies and national and international institutes engaged in vaccine developments.
Inaugurating the facility via video conference, Dr Renu Swarup, Secretary, DBT, said that she has very high expectations from NIBEC with regards to clinical immunogenicity testing of vaccine candidates especially with the COVID 19 vaccine pipeline in the country. She further elaborated that having domestic capabilities maintaining international standards in this space, will accelerate and fast track development of indigenous vaccines in the country.
Speaking on the subject, Dr Vishwajeet Kadam, Minister of State; Government of Maharashtra said that Government support for the creation of such a facility at IRSHA is heart-warming. He acknowledged and thanked the support of DBT and BIRAC.