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Serum Institute of India launches Rotasiil vaccine, Rabishield monoclonal antibody

Our Bureau, Mumbai
Wednesday, November 1, 2017, 13:30 Hrs  [IST]

In a major breakthrough, the Pune-based Serum Institute of India, a part of Cyrus Poonawalla Group and the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines, has announced the unveiling of its much-awaited Rotasiil vaccine and Rabishield, rabies monoclonal antibody. Rabishield has been developed in research partnership with Massachusetts Medical School, USA.

The global launch was held on October 31, 2017 in Mumbai which was attended by Michael F Collins, MD Chancellor, University of Massachusetts Medical Schools and Marks S Klempner, MD Executive, Vice Chancellor- Mass Biologic, Professor of Medicine University of Massachusetts Medical School.

The availability of Rotasiil and Rabishield worldwide will help reduce deaths caused due to rotavirus and rabies which cause fatal diseases.

The newly developed Rabishield is the world’s first recombinant rabies monoclonal antibody. It will help prevent rabies, a 100% fatal disease which does not have cure till date, but is almost 100 % preventable. Rabies is reported to cause two deaths every hour in India. It is transmitted to humans after an exposure via bites or scratches from both domestic and wild animals like dogs, cats, monkeys, wolves, coyotes, jackals, raccoons, mongooses, skunks and bats which are the reservoirs or vectors.

“Our new drug - Rabishield - is a first-of-its-kind product for passive immunization against rabies. Since the new drug will be 25% cheaper than the existing rabies immunoglobulins, it would meet the needs of the poor countries," said Adar Poonawalla, chief executive officer, Serum Institute of India. Rabishield in the private market is priced at about Rs. 18,000.

Rotasiil is the world’s first thermostable pentavalent rotavirus vaccine containing the G9 strain to help prevent the spread of Rotavirus which causes Diarrhoea mostly in babies and is often accompanied by vomiting and fever, leading to severe dehydration. It is reported that around 100,000 rotavirus related deaths occur in India.

According to Poonawalla, “Scientists have been working on this rotavirus vaccine for the last eight years. We had decided to develop a heat-stable vaccine to overcome the absence of cold-chain in many poor countries.”

Serum Institute of India is the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines. It sells about 1.3 billion doses a year globally across 147 countries. About 65% children in the world have received at least one vaccine made by Serum Institute of India, whose products are available in over 147 countries.

 

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