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Coronavirus Explainers

Drug Controller’s Nod For Omicron-Specific mRNA-Based Vaccine

GEMCOVAC-OM is an Omicron-specific mRNA-based booster vaccine developed using the indigenous platform technology by Gennova in collaboration with DBT

Drug Controller's Nod For Omicron-Specific mRNA-Based Vaccine
The vaccine is delivered intradermally using a needle-free injection device system.

New Delhi: India’s drug controller has granted emergency use authorisation for the Omicron-specific mRNA-based booster vaccine developed by Gennova Biopharmaceuticals under Mission Covid Suraksha, the Department of Biotechnology said on Tuesday (June 20). The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) had facilitated establishing Gennova’s mRNA-based next-generation vaccine manufacturing for developing the platform technology from proof of concept till Phase I clinical trial of the prototype vaccine developed against the Wuhan strain, an official statement said. Sanjay Singh, CEO of Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Ltd, said,

GEMCOVAC-OM is an Omicron-specific mRNA-based booster vaccine developed using the indigenous platform technology by Gennova in collaboration with DBT. GEMCOVAC-OM getting Emergency Use Authorisation from the office of the Drug Controller General of India is a testimony of our efforts to initiate, nurture and enable this ‘pandemic ready’ technology.

Also Read: No Signs Of Omicron Variant XBB.1.16 Leading To Severe Infection Among Children: Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj

GEMCOVAC-OM is a thermostable vaccine which does not require ultra-cold chain infrastructure, making it easy for pan-India deployment. Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh said,

Infrastructure to deploy vaccines in India at 2-8 degrees Celsius exists today and this innovation is tailored for the existing established supply-chain infrastructure. The vaccine does not need ultra-low temperature conditions for transport and storage.

The vaccine is delivered intradermally using a needle-free injection device system.

The project was supported under ‘Mission Covid Suraksha’, the Indian Covid-19 Vaccine Development Mission’ by DBT’s dedicated Mission Implementation Unit at Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), for further clinical development and scale up of the prototype vaccine, which received emergency use authorisation in June last year.

Rajesh S Gokhale, Secretary, DBT, and Chairperson, BIRAC, said GEMCOVAC-OM was developed using the mRNA-based disease agnostic platform technology which can be used to make other vaccines in a relatively short development timeline.

India has now developed two mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 using this rapid-disease-agnostic platform technology.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fightmalnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health,adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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