DST funds development of Active Virosome Vaccine Production

The Department of Science and Technology operating under Ministry of Science and Technology is to fund Seagull Biosolutions to develop Active Virosome vaccines and immunodiagnostic kits for COVID-19. The kits are expected to reach the market by August 2020.

Virosomes

A Virosome is a drug that consists of unilamellar phospholipid membrane. This membrane allows the drug to fuse with the target cells. The central cavity of the virosome consists of proteins, nucleic acids and drugs. The surface of the virosomes are made of different glycoproteins.

Significance of immunodiagnostics

In India, currently Polymerase Chain Reaction based kits are being used. These kits are rapid and they enable detection of active COVID-19 infection. However, the kits do not identify asymptomatic infections. This means that the people that were exposed to the or recovered from or infected with COVID-19 in the past may be left undetected. On the hand, the immunodiagnostic kits help in detection of antibodies and identify infections as well.

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