DBT approves additional funding for clinical studies of mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine HGCO19

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has announced that it has approved additional funding for clinical studies of mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine – HGCO19. This funding has been provided under the Mission COVID Suraksha. 

The vaccine is developed by Pune based biotechnology company Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Limited. The company has initiated the process to enroll healthy volunteers for the Phase I and II clinical trials.

Expressing happiness that India’s first mRNA based Covid-19 vaccine is going to clinical trial, Secretary of Department of Biotechnology, Dr.  Renu Swarup said this is a new technology and never used for vaccine manufacturing in India before. 

She said, believing in the potential of this technology, the Department has provided seed funding to Gennova to develop this technology.

The Department informed that HGCO19 has already demonstrated safety, immunogenicity, neutralization antibody activity in the rodent and non-human primate models. mRNA vaccines are considered safe as mRNA is non-infectious and degraded by standard cellular mechanisms. 

They are highly efficacious because of their inherent capability of being translatable into the protein structure inside the cell cytoplasm. This can be quickly manufactured inexpensively for mass vaccination on a sustainable basis.


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