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Cadila Pharma and Novavax to develop malaria vaccine with GoI help

BS Reporter / Mumbai/ Ahmedabad 21 Jul 12 | 12:51 AM

I A Modi led Ahmedabad based privately held pharma entity Cadila Pharmaceuticals said that it would collaborate with its US partner Novavax Inc to develop a novel malaria vaccine with the help of the Indian government. CPL Biologicals (CPLB), a joint venture between Cadila Pharma and Novavax Inc. would be engaged in the process.

This public-private-partnership project will combine Novavax's virus-like-particle (VLP) technology with the malaria vaccine research capabilities of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) and the vaccine manufacturing facility of CPLB to develop a new vaccine for the disease.

The project is being funded by India's Department of Biotechnology Vaccine Grand Challenge Program and will be managed by the Malaria Vaccine Development Program, a New Delhi-based not-for-profit organisation established to support the development of malaria vaccines.

CPLB will conduct pre-clinical trials, clinical trials and also commercially manufacture the vaccine. I A Modi of Cadila confirmed the development. He said that CPLB will develop the manufacturing processes for the vaccine candidates and will also provide production capability.

The ICGEB conducts programs based in Italy, India and South Africa. ICGEB's New Delhi program works in the areas of infectious diseases and agriculture related problems.

Approximately, 210 million cases of malaria are reported every year globally that lead to around 650,000 deaths, primarily in children less than five years of age. Malaria remains a major public health issue in the tropical world, and nearly 40 per cent of the world's population lives in malaria endemic regions of Africa, Asia and Central and South America.

Recently, Ranbaxy and Cipla have launched indigenously developed malaria vaccines in India.

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