The project is being jointly funded by DBT and Vinnova
Hilleman Laboratories, a joint-venture partnership between MSD and Wellcome Trust, received a six million krona Indo – Swedish grant for the project, ‘Improved, affordable single strain whole cell-B subunit oral cholera vaccine’.
The proposed project, carried out by Hilleman Laboratories, is being jointly funded by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India and Vinnova, the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems.
The project will fuel further Research & Development of the Oral Cholera Vaccine (OCV) with knowledge exchange and transfer of scientists across India and Sweden.
Speaking on the partnership, Dr Davinder Gill, CEO Hilleman Laboratories said, “Cholera remains a threat to global public health and is a barometer of health inequity and lack of social development. Considering the urgent need for effective and affordable cholera vaccines, both for use in cholera outbreaks and in mass vaccination campaigns, we would like to accelerate development of our simplified OCV, HILLCHOL.”
Further, Dr Ajit Pal Singh, Vice President, Clinical R&D, Hilleman Laboratories added, “We are pleased to be appreciated by the Indo-Swedish governments, and the association with DBT and Vinnova to develop the OCV, which is an important project for Hilleman Labs. The grant will incentivise advancement of clinical R&D against diseases that disproportionately affect poor countries. It will allow us to invest in innovation more effectively to explore high-quality vaccines and technologies”.
The OCV developed by Hilleman Labs would make mass vaccination a reality in cholera endemic zones due to ease of manufacturing and low cost, thereby improving vaccine affordability and accessibility.