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Indian Scientists Working on Developing MRNA Vaccine Technology Get Grant

Representational photo.

Representational photo.

The grant, the amount of which was not disclosed, will support the research by them for developing for the first time in India the technology platform and reagents required to design, make and test novel mRNA vaccines.

Ignite Life Science Foundation has awarded its first grant award for “pandemic preparedness" research to a team of researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (Bengaluru) and the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (Faridabad). The team comprises Professor Raghavan Varadarajan, Dr. Mrinmoy De and Dr. Siddharth Jhunjhunwala (IISc), and Dr. Amit Awasthi (Translational Health Science and Technology Institute-Faridabad).

The grant, the amount of which was not disclosed, will support the research by them for developing for the first time in India the technology platform and reagents required to design, make and test novel mRNA vaccines, ILSF said.

“We hope their work will form the basis for India’s ability to respond quickly to future pandemics, as well as improve our ability to respond to new variants of SARS-CoV-2," it said. “The grant will be for three years and will fund research to develop the platform technologies for mRNA vaccine development," a statement from ILSF, founded by professional scientists, academics and entrepreneurs, said on Monday.

According to Professor Shahid Jameel (Member Scientific Advisory Board, ILSF),mRNA vaccine development technology is vital for India to mount a rapid and effective response to future pandemics, and successful execution on this project will seed the creation of much needed capabilities in mRNA vaccine development in India. “The investigators will not only work on developing a vaccine against new variants of SARS-Cov2, but also attempt to develop methods for the generation of thermostable RNA vaccines, which would be critical for resource-poor tropical regions of the world," he said.

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first published:July 05, 2021, 15:05 IST