New Delhi [India]: Days after monkeypox cases were reported from parts of India, the Central Government has invited Expression of Interest (EOI) in developing a vaccine against monkeypox virus.
The Government floated EoI for developing monkeypox vaccine, diagnostic kits in public-private partnership mode. The Centre has invited EoI from experienced vaccine manufacturers, and in-vitro diagnostic (IVD) kit manufacturers for joint collaboration in developing a vaccine candidate against monkeypox and the development of diagnostic kits for diagnosis of this infection.
The last date for submission of EoI is August 10.
The objective of the tender read, “ICMR is willing to make available Monkeypox Virus strain/isolates for undertaking R&D, validation as well as manufacturing activities using characterized isolates of Monkeypox virus under the joint collaboration in the public-private partnership mode for the following two activities- 2.1 Development of vaccine candidate against Monkeypox disease. 2.2 Development of diagnostic kits for diagnosis of Monkeypox virus infection.”
ICMR-National Institute of Virology (ICMR-NIV), Pune, one of the Institutes of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi has isolated the Monkeypox virus, which is being propagated on specific cell lines under biosafety laboratory conditions. These isolates were further purified and characterized. Tissue culture infective dose (TCID50) has been estimated and bulk propagation of the virus stock has been achieved, the tender copy read.
ICMR reserved all the Intellectual Property Rights and Commercialization rights on the Monkeypox virus isolates and its method/ protocols for purification, propagation and characterization. ICMR is lawfully entitled to enter into any form of non-exclusive agreements with experienced Drug/Pharma/Vaccine/IVD manufacturers through defined agreement for undertaking R&D as well as manufacturing activities using characterized Monkeypox virus isolates of ICMR for development of vaccine against Monkeypox disease or Diagnostic kit for diagnosis of Monkeypox virus, hereinafter referred to as the ‘Product(s)’, the tender copy read.
Recently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) sounded its highest level of alert for monkeypox and declared the virus as a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).
Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease caused by the monkeypox virus, which belongs to the same family of viruses that causes smallpox. The disease is endemic in regions like West and Central Africa but lately, cases have been reported from non-endemic countries too, according to the WHO.
In India, a 34-year-old man from Delhi with no history of foreign travel tested positive for monkeypox on Sunday, taking the country’s tally of cases to four. Three cases of monkeypox were earlier reported in Kerala.