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Biotech dept. to build anti-coronavirus vaccines

Under the India chapter of the Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness and Innovations (CEPI) the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) will collaborate with Indian companies aligned to the development of vaccines against the Covid-19 and other emerging infectious diseases. In addition to funding these firms, DBT is putting together a network of organizations globally who are working on better diagnostics to detect the infection and possible monoclonal antibodies. “We will be providing top-up funding for companies in India who apply for the CEPI call and also give access to our larger ecosystem and networks,” DBT secretary Renu Swarup stated.

Further, India has also sent its scientists to a WHO forum to help tackle the outbreak of the virus. WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan opined, “Understanding the disease, its reservoirs, transmission and clinical severity and then developing effective counter-measures is critical for the control of the outbreak, to reduce deaths and minimise the economic impact.”

According to sources, a vaccine against the Nipah virus could also be developed by DBT.