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IIT-G working on COVID-19 vaccine
STAFF REPORTER
 GUWAHATI, April 30 - The Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT-G) on Wednesday announced that it is collaborating with Ahmedabad-based pharmaceutical firm Hester Biosciences Ltd to work on vaccine development for COVID-19.

 IIT-G and Hester Biosciences expect the vaccine to be ready by the end of this year to start animal studies. The work is currently in its early stage of development.

The vaccine will be based on recombinant avian paramyxovirus-based vector platform.

The recombinant avian paramyxovirus-1 will be used to express the immunogenic protein of SARS-CoV-2. The recombinant avian paramyxovirus-1 expressing the SARS-CoV-2 protein can be used as a vaccine candidate for further study.

The team at IIT Guwahati is headed by Dr Sachin Kumar, Associate Professor of the Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering.

Dr Kumar and his team have generated the recombinant avian paramyxovirus-1-based vaccine platform for classical swine fever and Japanese Encephalitis. The role of IIT-G is to produce the recombinant vaccine candidate.

IIT-G Director Prof TG Sitharam said, “I am hopeful that the outcome of this important collaboration will be a win-win situation for the country and will lead to breakthrough results in prevention of COVID-19 as well as provide leads for vaccine development against other diseases in the immediate future.”

The avian paramyxovirus-1 has been explored as a vaccine vector for various animals and human pathogens. It has been used to express the immunogenic protein of human pathogens such as HIV, avian influenza virus, human parainfluenza virus and SARS-CoV.

Similarly, it has also been explored as a vaccine vector for animal pathogens such as infectious bursal disease virus, infectious laryngotracheitis virus, bovine herpes virus and the Nipah virus.

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