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Centre invites bid to develop diagnostic kits, vaccines against Monkeypox

The ICMR said that it would provide technical support to the industry partners in the development of IVD kits and vaccines.

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New Delhi: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Wednesday announced that it has invited Expression of Interest (EoI) from pharmaceutical manufacturers to develop diagnostic kits and vaccines for the Monkeypox virus.

The EoI has been invited by experienced vaccine manufacturers and in-vitro diagnostic (IVD) kit manufacturers for joint collaboration in developing vaccine candidates against monkeypox. The last date for submission of EOI is August 10.

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“ICMR has invited an Expression of Interest (EoI) proposing to hand over the isolated virus strain of Monkeypox to interested Indian vaccine and In-Vitro Diagnostic (IVD) industry partners for the development of indigenous vaccine & diagnostic kits,” the announcement by the apex medical research body read.

The ICMR said that it would provide technical support to the industry partners in the development of IVD kits and vaccines.

The development has come after the National Institute of Virology successfully isolated the Monkeypox virus from the clinical specimen of an infected patient paving the way for the development of diagnostic kits and vaccines against the disease.

Senior scientists at the central virus research institute said the virus isolation enhances India’s capacity to do research and development in many other directions that will help in forming diagnosis and treatment protocols for the disease.

The virus can now be used for clinical observations by testing on laboratory animals to assess its impact on the human body. Besides, it will help in developing diagnostic tools to confirm its presence in suspected and infected individuals. Also, it could be used to develop an effective vaccine. There are several possibilities and work on them will be started after getting a go-ahead from the authorities,” a senior scientist from NIV told UNI.

Monkeypox, declared a public health emergency of international concern, has spread over 75 nations with more than 17,000 confirmed cases. India has reported four cases of Monkeypox so far.

Kerala was the first state to confirm a Monkeypox case, the number later increased to three in the same state. The fourth confirmed case was reported in Delhi in a 34-year-old man with no recent history of international travel.

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