Cadiflu-S is the first Virus Like Particles (VLP) technology-based Influenza vaccine in the world
CPL Biologicals, a joint-venture biotechnology company of Cadila Pharmaceuticals, India and Novavax, USA, has become the first company in India to indigenously develop ‘Cadiflu-S’, a vaccine for seasonal nfluenza. Responding to the Government of India’s initiative of ‘Make in India’ campaign, the Ahmedabad based company launched ‘Cadiflu-S’, which is also the first Virus Like Particles (VLP) technology-based Influenza vaccine in the world.
The company has set up the vaccine facility at Dholka near Ahmedabad with an initial investment of Rs 100 crore. The plant has the capability of producing up to 25 million doses of vaccine every year.
‘Cadiflu-S’ does not contain any viruses, and is a major technological breakthrough since it completely eliminates the possibility of any infection to the vaccinated person from the vaccine. The viruses present in other available vaccines can, at times, replicate in human body thereby causing disease by the vaccine itself. Moreover, the VLP-based vaccine does not contain any egg proteins, antibiotics or preservatives, and thus provides huge relief to people who are prone to allergies.
Commenting on the launch, Dr Rajiv Modi, CMD, Cadila Pharmaceuticals, said, “Building on the success of ‘Cadiflu-S’, we will be launching a series of vaccines, including many first-of-its kind in the world, using Novel technology platforms like VLPs and Nanoparticles. The VLP technology provides us a huge edge as it takes only 12-14 weeks to develop the new strain specific vaccine, as against 24 to 32 weeks for the development of a conventional vaccine. If there is a necessity tomorrow, we can launch other types of pandemic flu vaccines, like H7N9 vaccines at a much faster pace compared to conventional vaccines.”
Dr James F Young, Chairman, Novavax, said, “We have successfully completed Phase III trials at 10 centres across India to evaluate the Immunogenicity and Safety of this Seasonal Influenza Virus-Like Particle (VLP) Vaccine. ‘Cadiflu-S’ has received Drugs Controller General of India’s (DCGI) approval for launching the vaccine in India. We have also developed a strong pipeline that include Rabies 3 dose vaccine, pancreatic cancer vaccine, Rabies single dose vaccine, Hepatitis E vaccine, Varicella zoster virus vaccine and Human Papilloma vaccine.”
The indigenous production of ‘Cadiflu-S’ for seasonal influenza will provide a major boost to the government’s initiative of preventing any probability of pandemic flu-like situation. The seasonal vaccine which is supposed to be administered every year due to changing strains of the virus, protects even healthy individuals, both children and adults, from the influenza which at times could lead to other highly infectious and chronic illnesses. The seasonal influenza virus affects the lungs and other areas of the respiratory tract. People with chronic conditions of cardiac ailments, diabetes mellitus, metabolic diseases, renal failure and asthma run a high risk of developing complications.
CPL Biologicals has obtained all the necessary approvals from the concerned regulatory authorities for commercialisation of ‘Cadiflu-S’ vaccine. Apart from the Indian markets, the company will also be looking to cater to the Middle East and South East Asian markets in coming years.