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DBT seed funds Gennova Biopharmaceuticals’ novel mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate

The clinical trials for the vaccine are likely to start before the year ends

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DBT-BIRAC has facilitated the establishment of ‘first-of-its-kind’ mRNA-based vaccine manufacturing platform in India. It has provided seed funding for the development of Gennova’s novel self-amplifying mRNA-based vaccine candidate for COVID19.

In collaboration with HDT Biotech Corporation, Seattle, US, Gennova has developed an mRNA vaccine candidate (HGCO19), with demonstrated safety, immunogenicity, neutralisation antibody activity in the rodent and non-human primate models. The company is working aggressively to ensure first human injection by the end of the year, subject to Indian regulatory approvals, informed a release from the Ministry of Science & Technology.

Speaking on the subject, Dr Renu Swarup, Secretary, DBT and Chairperson, BIRAC, said, “Diseases emanating from unknown and new pathogens require novel ideas for effective mitigation. Gennova’s mRNA platform supported by DBT utilizes the advances in nucleic acid vaccine and delivery systems. This vaccine candidate that makes use of nanotechnology has shown promise to be effective in animal models. With the kind of capacities that Gennova has, I am confident that this vaccine candidate can be rapidly scaled up, once proven effective in human clinical trials.”

Speaking on the development, Dr Sanjay Singh, CEO, Gennova Biopharmaceuticals, said, “Bold moves are necessary to create globally competitive and sustainable solutions. Gennova appreciates DBT- BIRAC’s initiative, guidance, and financial support towards the development of mRNA based next-generation vaccine. Our partnership is poised towards creating an eco-system for cutting-edge technology, providing solution towards making a cost-effective vaccine that can reach to the masses in a pandemic situation like COVID-19.”

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