Bharat Biotech Current Affairs - 2019
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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has given its pre-qualification to Typbar Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine (TVC) developed by Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech for global use.
Typbar TCV is world’s first typhoid vaccine clinically proven to be administered to children from six months of age to adults, and confers long-term protection against typhoid fever. It has been evaluated in Human Challenge Studies at Oxford University.
The WHO pre-qualification enables procurement and supplies of this life-saving vaccine to UNICEF, Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) and GAVI (vaccine alliance) supported countries. This also paves the way for WHO member countries to introduce the Typbar TCV into their immunization programs.
TCVs are innovative products having longer-lasting immunity than older vaccines and require fewer doses. They can be given to young children through routine childhood immunization programs. TCVs have been recommended by WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (WHO-SAGE).
Typhoid fever is caused by bacterium Salmonella Typhi (S. Typhi). It infects humans due to contaminated food and beverages from sewage and other infected humans. Its symptoms include fever, fatigue, headache, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea or constipation.
Currently, a third of global population is at risk of typhoid fever, which results in loss of work and wages, lowered pregnancy outcomes and impaired the physical and cognitive development of children. According to International Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) estimates in 2016, there were approximately 12 million cases of typhoid fever resulting in around 130,000 deaths. Urbanisation and climate change have potential to further increase global burden of typhoid.
Hyderabad-based vaccines manufacturer Bharat Biotech has announced a breakthrough in developing the world’s first Zika vaccine by developing two candidates.
In this regard, the pharmaceutical company has submitted two vaccine candidates, one each of inactivated and recombinant type to the Government.
- These two candidates are in an advanced stage of development and could be ready soon after pre-clinical studies concluded in the next five months.
- The company already has filed patents for both candidates in July 2015 and is looking to start animal tests soon after getting regulatory approvals for conducting clinical trials.
It should be noted that this company was able to achieve this medical breakthrough because it had earlier successfully developed vaccine on vector borne Chikungunya disease which is also transmitted by Aedes mosquito similar to Zika virus.
Inactivated vaccine: It consists of the disease-causing microbe which is killed with chemicals, radiation or heat. These microbes are grown under controlled conditions and are rendered non-infectious in order to reduce antigenicity. It is more stable and safer vaccine compared to vaccines using live microbes.
Recombinant DNA vaccine: It is produced through the recombinant DNA technology. This technology involves inserting the DNA encoding antigen (such as a bacterial surface protein) that stimulates immune response. It generally uses an attenuated virus or bacterium to introduce microbial DNA to cells of the body.