Agonist molecule synthesis for COVAXIN

Agonist Molecule Synthesis for Covaxin by CSIR-IICT

Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN (Image Credits: Vigyan Prasar)

The constituent labs of CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) have been tireless in their industrial collaboration for the launching of repurposed drugs via conduction of clinical trials and process development. The CSIR labs have made remarkable contributions to the SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic kits, including the Dry Swab Direct RT-PCR method and Feluda.

Bharat Biotech developed Covaxin, which is the country’s indigenous vaccine against COVID-19. The Hyderabad-based company used an inactivated whole SARS-CoV-2 virion which is highly purified. To produce the requisite immune reaction type, aluminum hydroxide gel was chemisorbed with TLR7/8 agonist to create the Algel-IMDG used for vaccine formulation. Owing to the TLR7/8 agonist’s substantial vaccine efficiency function, Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) approached Hyderabad-based CSIR-IICT (Indian Institute of Chemical Technology) to develop the agonist via a synthetic approach utilizing cost-effective and highly pure native chemicals.

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The agonist molecule synthesis project for Covaxin was led by CSIR-IICT Director Dr. Chandrashekhar and Senior Scientist Dr. Raji Reddy, who came up with a viable solution in a matter of 4 months. Likewise, AcCSIR Professor and Senior Principal Scientist Dr. Mohana Krishna Mudiam led a team of researchers who played an important role in developing an analytical technique to evaluate the TLR7/8 molecule. With the help of a NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories) certified lab, the team also carried out the molecule’s method validation procedures.

Bharat Biotech MD and Chairman Dr. Krishna Ella acknowledged the IICT scientists’ work. They said that the CSIR-IICT-developed process technology primarily aids the adjuvant production for COVAXIN for the TLR7/8 agonist molecule.

CSIR’s Director-General Dr. Shekhar Mande, who is also the DSIR Secretary, lauded the research team for coming forward for the agonist molecule synthesis for Covaxin economically and in record time. He mentioned the achievement as another example of CSIR’s dedication towards an Aatmanirbhar Bharat.


Agonist molecule synthesis for Covaxin, Bharat Biotech, CSIR-IICT