The Centre has approved the setting up of testing lab for vaccines in Telangana, a move that will benefit states’ vaccine industry. KT Rama Rao, IT and Industries Minister of State, made this announcement during ‘Reboot Telangana – Making Telangana Future Positive’ event on Monday. The event was organized by a leading newspaper. The Reboot Telangana conclave is being supported by CREDAI Hyderabad.
“The regional testing lab for vaccines has been sanctioned and it will be stationed in the Genome Valley,” KTR said at the event during an interactive session with industry leaders on how to revive Telangana’s economy. With this, the longstanding demand of setting up a laboratory in Hyderabad will be fulfilled.
According to the report, this will be the second such laboratory to come up in India with the first being the Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) at Kasauli. It will be set up at the upcoming National Animal Research Facility at Genome Valley. People privy with the development said that it will take around a year to come up.
At present, vaccine players send their vaccine batches to the Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) at Kasauli for testing. The CDL is a National Control Laboratory for testing of vaccines and antisera meant for human use in India.
Hyderabad houses some of the biggest vaccine players like Indian Immunologicals Ltd (IIL), Shantha Biotechnics, Biological E, and Bharat Biotech. They are in the global race to develop vaccines for novel coronavirus.
According to data, out of total vaccines developed and supplied by India in global markets, 33 per cent is created in Hyderabad.
Dr KI Varaprasad Reddy, the founder of Shantha Biotechnics, pointed out that in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic the Central government must work towards significantly boosting research and development budgets and encouraging patent filing from Indian labs. Reddy underlined that only 3,000 patents were filed from India in 2019 when the global figure for the same period was 33 lakh.
“Barely Rs 20-30 crore is made available for vaccine development in India, whereas globally, it takes anywhere around USD 500-600 million to USD 1 billion to develop vaccines,” he said.