On April 23, 2019, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) licensed the technology for Shigella vaccine for further scaling up and commercialisation to MSD Wellcome Trust Hilleman Laboratories Pvt Ltd.1 Biotech Consortium India Limited (BCIL), New Delhi, executed the License Agreement with NICED on behalf of ICMR and Hilleman Labs.
The technology was developed by ICMR-National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED). Shigella Vaccine in the form of heat treated/formalin killed vaccines as well as next generation vaccines including OmpA nano-formulation and OMVs (Outer Membrane Vesicles) is developed to address the need for controlling Shigella infection.
In view of no licensed Shigella vaccine and emergence of increased antimicrobial resistance, the vaccines are the only effective tool to fight against the disease. The Shigella vaccine, developed by ICMR-NICED is expected to have a huge potential and likely to benefit children living in low and middle-income settings.
The licensed Shigella vaccine candidate has been developed through support from ICMR, Okayama University, Japan and National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan. The translation of the licensed Shigella vaccine candidate to a market-ready product will involve a stringent pre-clinical and clinical development pathway before it reaches the market.
Shigellosis is an infectious disease, marked by bloody diarrhoea with or without fever caused by Shigella species with huge disease burden globally causing ∼125 million diarrhoeal episodes annually, around 160,000 deaths, with a third of these associated with children under five years age. Management of shigellosis includes improvement of sanitation, rehydration therapy and most essentially, antibiotic therapy. Considering the global emergence of multidrug resistance (MDR), absence of effective Shigella vaccine and one of the prioritised vaccines recommended by the WHO; developing this indigenous vaccine against shigellosis is the need of the hour and is a major breakthrough.
Note – This is the first-ever vaccine for treatment for Shigellosis. At present Shigellosis is largely treated through antibiotics globally, but the fact of antibiotic resistance and global emergence is a major concern making vaccine development the only solution for Shigellosis.
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