New Delhi: The Department of Biotechnology(DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology has been supporting the research on Dengue vaccine in a major way under the aegis of Indo-US Vaccine Action Programme (VAP) and the Vaccine Grand Challenge Programme (VGCP). Efforts have been supported for the development of safe, efficacious and inexpensive dengue vaccine and continued support will be provided based on review of the programme and the milestones achieved.
A major project on “Development of envelope domain III –based dengue virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine candidates“ has been implemented at International Centre for Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology (ICGEB), New Delhi at a total cost of Rs 429.41 lakhs in March, 2016. Under this promising candidates were developed that elicited protective immune response in mice.
The Dengue Subunit Vaccine Tetravalent (DSV) vaccine candidates have been transferred to Industry for further development. Also the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a not-for-profit Section 8, Schedule B, Public Sector Enterprise of DBT supported project on ‘Optimization and characterization of a Virosome Vaccine for Dengue” with a total cost of Rs 89.19 lakhs for a period of two years, to induce a balanced immunity against all four dengue virus serotypes. The project will go to further studies subsequent to establishment of immunogenicity for the tetravalent vaccine in the present proposal.
As and when the candidates are ready for the dengue vaccine trials, the Government will explore the possibility of supporting the trials through inter-ministerial sources and other international agencies.
This information was given by Minister of State for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Mr Y S Chowdhary in a written reply in the Parliament recently.