Cadila Pharmaceuticals Develops India’s First Virus Like Particle Vaccine For Treating Flu

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Cadiflu-S is India’s first Virus-Like Particle (VLP) technology-based influenza vaccine

An Indian company, CPL Biologicals Pvt Ltd has unveiled “Cadiflu-S”, world’s first influenza vaccine that is based on the virus-like particle (VLP) technology to treat seasonal influenza.

The company which is a joint-venture biotechnology company of Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd, India and Novavax Inc, USA has made an initial investment of Rs 100 crore to set up a facility at Dholka near Ahmedabad in the state of Gujarat, India. It has the capability of producing up to 25 million doses of vaccine every year and is approved for administration on human beings above 18 years of age.

“The advantage of Cadiflu-S is that it does not contain any viruses, and is a major technological breakthrough since it completely eliminates the possibility of any infection to the vaccinated person from the vaccine,” says Atin Tomar, President of the Company. Also, the vaccine is free from egg proteins, antibiotics or preservatives, making it safe for consumption for people who are prone to allergies.

“The indigenous production of ‘Cadiflu-S’ for seasonal influenza will provide a major boost to the government’s initiative of preventing any probability of pandemic flu-like situation,” added Tomar.

“Building on the success of ‘Cadiflu-S’, we will be launching a series of vaccines, including many first-of-its kind in the world, using Novel technology platforms like VLPs and Nano particles,” commented Rajiv Modi, Chairman and Managing Director, Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

Says Mr. Rajiv Modi, “The VLP technology provides us with a huge edge, as it takes only 12-14 weeks to develop the new strain specific vaccine, as against 24 to 32 weeks for the development of a conventional vaccine. If there is a necessity tomorrow, we can launch other types of pandemic flu vaccines, like H7N9 vaccines at a much faster pace compared to conventional vaccines.”

Dr James F Young, Chairman, Novavax Inc, said, “We have successfully completed Phase III trials at 10 centers across India to evaluate the immunogenicity and safety of this seasonal influenza VLP vaccine. Cadiflu-S has received approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for launching the vaccine in India. We have also developed a strong pipeline that include 3-dose and single dose vaccines for treating rabies, pancreatic cancer vaccine, hepatitis E vaccine, varicella zoster virus vaccine and human papilloma vaccine.”

CPL Biologicals has obtained all the necessary approvals from the concerned regulatory authorities for commercialisation of ‘Cadiflu-S’ vaccine. Apart from the Indian markets, the company will also be looking to cater to the Middle East and South East Asian markets in coming years.

About the Vaccine:

‘Cadiflu-S’ is developed by incorporating the gene sequences of multiple immunogenic proteins (HA, NA and M1 antigens) of Influenza virus to produce a complex envelope Virus Like Particle vaccine. Each dose of the recombinant baculovirus-based vaccine, Cadiflu-S (0.5 ml) contains three strains of flu viruses namely, A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)-like virus, A/HongKong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus, B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus. World Health Organisation (WHO) in Feb 2016 recommended composition of influenza virus vaccines for use in the 2016-2017 northern hemisphere influenza season.  The current market for Seasonal Influenza vaccine in India is estimated at 2 – 2.5 million dosages per year and is rapidly growing.

 Source: Cadila