The Government of India (GOI) has announced the third stimulus package of Rs. 900 Crore for the Mission COVID Suraksha- The Indian COVID-19 Vaccine Development Mission.
The recently announced grant will be provided to the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) for Research & Development of Indian COVID-19 vaccines.
What is Mission COVID Suraksha?
- Mission COVID Suraksha is the targeted effort to enable development of indigenous, affordable and accessible vaccines for the country
- The COVID-19 Vaccine development Mission with end-to-end focus from preclinical development through clinical development and manufacturing and regulatory facilitation for deployment, would consolidate all available and funded resources towards accelerated product development.
- Phase-I of the COVID Suraksha Mission has been allotted Rs.900 Crore for a period of 12 months.
- Led by Department of Biotechnology and implemented by a dedicated Mission Implementation Unit at Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC),the existing activities under National Bio Pharma Mission (NBM) and India- Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (Ind-CEPI) Mission will provide complementary strengths to this Mission
Objectives of the fund
The important objectives of the fund will be
- Accelerating preclinical & clinical development
- Licensure of COVID-19 vaccine candidates that are currently in clinical stages or ready to enter clinical stage of development
- Establishing clinical trial sites, and strengthening the existing immunoassay laboratories, central laboratories and suitable facilities for animal studies, production facilities and other testing facilities to support COVID-19 vaccine development.
- Supporting development of common harmonized protocols, trainings, data management systems, regulatory submissions, internal and external quality management systems and accreditations.
- Capabilities for process development, cell line development and manufacturing of GMP batches for animal toxicology studies and clinical trials will also be supported under the Mission.
- A key element will be development of a suitable Target Product Profile so that vaccines being introduced through the mission have preferred characteristics applicable for India.
A total of 10 vaccine candidates have been supported by Department of Biotechnology so far at both academia and industry and as on date, 5 vaccine candidates are in human trials including the Russian Vaccine Sputnik-V with at least 3 more in advanced stages of preclinical to enter human trials shortly.