8 pharma firms show interest in developing monkeypox vaccine in India

Twenty-three firms have applied to manufactured virus detection kit after ICMR on July 27 invited Expression of Interest for development of vaccine and kit

India has till now reported 10 cases of monkeypox infection, the latest case being from Delhi where the tally has reached five

The Indian Council of Medical Research IICMR) has got 31 bids from manufacturers interested in developing vaccine and detection kit in India for the monkeypox virus, media reports quoting sources said. This was after ICMR floated Expression of Interest (EOI) for the development of vaccine and diagnostic kits.

These manufacturers will reportedly develop the vaccine in a public-private partnership, or PPP, mode.

Also read: WHO to rename monkeypox over stigma concerns, invites suggestions

Tenders under evaluation

Eight pharma firms have said they are interested in developing a monkeypox vaccine, while 23 have applied to manufactured virus detection kit, sources in the ICMR said. However, no company has been awarded the tender yet and it is currently under evaluation.

The ICMR had invited the EOI for the development of vaccine and diagnostic kits for monkeypox last month on July 27. The EOI was invited from the experienced vaccine manufacturers, in-vitro diagnostic (IVD) kit manufacturers for joint collaboration in developing of vaccine candidate against monkeypox. The last date for submission of EOI was August 10.

10 cases in India

India has till now reported 10 cases of monkeypox infection. The latest case was reported from Delhi, where the tally has reached five. The Delhi patient is a 22-year-old woman who, a month ago, had returned from Nigeria. Of the five infected patients, one has been discharged and four are being treated at LNJP Hospital.

The central government had released a host of guidelines to check the virus spread in India, including those at the entry points to the country. International passengers have been asked to avoid close contact with sick people, and dead or live wild animals.

Also read: Monkeypox scare: Centre holds top meeting with health experts

The first case of monkeypox in India was reported from Kerala’s Kollam district on July 14.

According to the World Health Organisation, monkeypox is a viral zoonosis — a virus transmitted to humans from animals — with symptoms similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although it is clinically less severe.