ICAR-IVRI tech acquired by Hester to develop brucella vaccine for cattle
New Delhi: Hester Bioscience Ltd on Wednesday said it has acquired a technology from the government''s research body ICAR-IVRI to develop a new generation vaccine for controlling brucellosis disease in cattle that causes huge losses to the dairy industry.
The technology was developed by ICAR-IVRI (Indian Council of Agriculture Research - Indian Veterinary Research Institute) scientists -- Dr. Pallab Chaudhari and his team.
In a regulatory filing, Hester said it has "signed the agreement towards receiving the indigenously developed technology from ICAR-IVRI, for developing the Brucella Abortus S19 Delta Per vaccine."
The agreement was signed through video conferencing on September 22 in the presence of Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary (DARE) & DG (ICAR), among others.
Hester said it is currently manufacturing the conventional Brucella Abortus S19 vaccine and supplying to all the states. The S19 Delta Per new generation vaccine will be a step forward towards developing a Brucella vaccine with enhanced safety, immunogenicity, as well as assuring lifelong immunity with a single shot in calf-hood.
The government has planned to immunize four crore female calves in India in the first phase against Brucella through vaccination, the filing said.
"Brucella is a disease of economic importance worldwide. Not only does it impact cattle, sheep, goat, and swine, but it also gets transmitted to human beings. Incidentally there is no vaccine available to protect humans against Brucella. The animals need to be protected to protect mankind. Immunization with Brucella vaccine also helps cattle to remain healthy, thereby improving their milk production," Hester said.
Hester said it hopes to launch the Brucella Abortus S19 Delta Per vaccine in 18 months.
In a separate statement, ICAR-IVRI said it has signed a technology license agreement on "Brucella abortus S19Δ per vaccine" with Hester Bioscience Ltd.
Mohapatra emphasized on the importance of Brucella vaccine in India and its perspective abroad. He highlighted its economic, social and developmental impact.
Dr Renu Swarup, Secretary of Department of Biotechnology (DBT), stressed on more collaboration between ICAR and DBT to bring out more technologies for transfers which are at the development stage.
"The vaccine has great demand in India and will be of immense help in the national control programme on brucellosis. The vaccine has DIVA capability meaning that it can differentiate between naturally infected and vaccinated animals," ICAR said.
Brucellosis is one of the most important zoonotic diseases worldwide and also endemic in India causing huge economic losses to the dairy industry due to infertility, abortion, the birth of weak offsprings and reduced productivity.