India To Invest To Tackle Future Pandemic Challenge

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New Delhi: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh said, India will make significant investment in R&D to develop a roadmap for design and delivery of vaccine development for future pandemic.

In his message to the two-day International meet on “Preparedness for Future Epidemics: Is India ready to meet the CEPI 100 days vaccine challenge?”, Dr Jitendra Singh said, while efforts are still on to uncover findings about the COVID-19 and the epidemiological models, India is ready to invest in future challenges.

The Conference on 5th and 6th December, 2022 has been organized by Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), an autonomous institute of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, Faridabad in its campus at NCR Biotech Science Cluster.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, the Department of Biotechnology was at the center of pandemic response and took unprecedented steps to curb the threat posed by COVID 19.  He said, DBT was aided very ably, by its 14 autonomous institutes, the primary lead taken by THSTI as it quickly set up patient cohorts, bioassay systems, immune and cellular response assays, animal studies required for vaccine development, and supported vaccine industry in developing India’s first DNA and protein subunit vaccine Corbevax.

Dr Jitendra Singh reiterated that Covid-19 has given an urgent wake up call to prepare ourselves for any future threat and it is timely that Department of Biotechnology and THSTI are leading India’s IndCEPI program for future preparedness.

This meeting brought together leaders and experts from academia, industry and regulators to discuss important aspects of vaccine development for emerging infectious diseases.

India as a country will take lead in providing a policy framework for pandemic preparedness especially for global south, aligning respective national regulatory processes with international processes, and enhancing and pooling manufacturing capacity for large scale production quickly. This will also help the country to garner the strength of our biotech industry to improve human health and also contribute to our economy beyond its current share of $80 billion.

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