- The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) announced a research collaboration with Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Ltd (BBIL) to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.
- Earlier ICMR had transferred the virus strain isolated at the National Institute of Virology, Pune (an ICMR institute) to BBIL.
- ICMR and BBIL will seek fast-track approvals to expedite vaccine development, subsequent animal studies and clinical evaluation of the candidate vaccine, which will be fully indigenous to India
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR):
- The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi, the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research.
- It is funded by the Government of India, and comes under the overall supervision of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
- The governing body of the council is presided over by the Union Health Minister.
- Governing Body is assisted in scientific and technical matters by a scientific advisory board comprising eminent experts in different biomedical disciplines.
- Under its preview comes 26 national institutes dedicated to research on various diseases such as tuberculosis, leprosy, cholera and diarrhoeal diseases, viral diseases including AIDS, malaria, kala-azar, vector control, nutrition, food & drug toxicology, reproduction, immuno-haematology, oncology, medical statistics, etc.
Indian Institute of Virology (Pune) :
- A research-based institute of Indian Council of Medical Research dedicated to research of Virology, the institute also serves as transnational cell for projects on Virus.
- Earlier known as Virus Research Institute, came into existence in 1952 under the joint auspices of the ICMR and the Rockefeller Foundation, as a part of the global programme of investigations on the arthropod-borne group of viruses.
- The institute is part of WHO Collaborating Center for arboviruses reference and hemorrhagic fever reference and research.
- Moreover it is also the National Monitoring Centre for Influenza, Japanese encephalitis, Rota, Measles, Hepatitis and Coronavirus.