CSIR-IICT develops synthetic route for agonist molecule in record time

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The CSIR constituent lab, the Hyderabad-based Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) has developed a synthetic route for the agonist molecule with indigenous chemicals at an affordable price and with the highest purity enable the Covaxin producer, Bharat Biotech (BBIL) to scale up the production of the adjuvant.

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The project was spearheaded by Director Dr Chandrasekhar, and Senior Scientist from IICT Dr Raji Reddy and has been completed in a record of 4 months time.  Also, the CSIR-IICT team lead by Dr Mohana Krishna Mudiam, Senior Principal Scientist and Professor (AcCSIR) played a key role in the development of the analytical method for testing TLR7/8 agonist molecule and its method validation procedures through NABL accredited lab.

It may be recalled the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Ltd. (BBIL) has emerged as the frontrunner in the development of an indigenous vaccine for COVID-19, COVAXIN™.  The vaccine developed by BBIL is a highly purified, whole virion, inactivated SARS-CoV2. The vaccine is formulated with Algel-IMDG, which contains chemisorbed TLR7/8 agonist onto aluminium hydroxide gel to generate the requisite type of immune responses. Owing to the significant role played by the TLR7/8 agonist molecule in the performance of a vaccine, the IIM was approached by the BBIL to develop the synthetic route for the agonist molecule with indigenous chemicals at an affordable price which the IIM could achieve in a record span of 4 months.

Acknowledging the work undertaken by CSIR-IICT towards the development of the novel agonist, CMD of BBIL Dr Krishna Ella said, “The process technology developed by CSIR-IICT for the agonist molecule is playing an important role in the production of adjuvant for COVAXIN”.

The DG, CSIR and Secretary, DSIR Dr Shekhar Mande complimented the CSIR-IICT team for rising to the occasion in making the process affordable and enabling the development of agonist molecule in record time and mentioned that this is yet another instance of CSIRs commitment towards ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat”.

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