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NRDC transfers tech for FMD vaccine to Panacea Biotec

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, June 6 (UNI) The National Research Development Corporation today annouced transferring technology to produce and market the Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine developed by the Indian Veterinary Research Institute to Panacea Biotec, the second largest producer of vaccines in India.

India is suffering economic loss of Rs 400 crore annually due to the foot and mouth disease which affects cattles. Though the Indian Veterinary Research Institute had developed the technology, the production capacity was very less, so the government decided to transfer the technology to the private sector pharma company Panacea Biotec, said Dr Somenath Ghosh, Chairman and Managing Director of NRDC.

The transfer of technology and licensing to Panacea Biotec would increase the production of vaccine which has huge demands not only in the country but also abroad. NRDC would transfer technology for vaccine production to Panacea Biotech, train its scientists in the technology and also help it export the vaccine, he said.

Panacea Biotech in return would pay the license fee and also royalty of the sale of vaccine, Dr Rajesh Jain, Joint Managing Director of the company said. However, he refused to give details of the financial transactions.

The highly contagious Foot and Mouth Diseases (FMD) is a viral disease of cloven hoofed animals characterised by the formation of vesicles and erosions in the mouth, nose, teats and feet. Although not lethal in adult animals, the economic loss is huge due to loss of milk, wool and meat production. It had affected over 500 million livestock in India and in the year 2002-03 about 2500 outbreaks were reported in the country.

FMD has no cure and it an only be prevented by vaccination of animals so the government has launched a Rs 200 crore FMD eradication programme in the tenth plan. Under this programme, vaccination would be carried out in millions of animals in five rounds.

To prevent economic losses due to FMD and to develop herd immunity in cloven footed animals, Foot and Mouth Disease Control Programme is being implemented in 54 specified districts of the country in the first phase with 100 per cent central funding as cost of the vaccine, maintenance of cold chain and other logistic support to undertake vaccination. The state governments are providing other infrastructure and manpower.

''This collaboration would significantly enhance Panacea Biotec's position in the field of Biotechnology. Under the agreement, the company will in-license the technology for the production of FMD vaccine developed by IVRI through NRDC,'' Mr Jain said.


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