Science

IIT Alumni Council to raise ₹700 crore for vaccine initiative

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on June 01, 2021

IIT Alumni Council is the largest global body of alumni across all the 23 IITs   -  VELANKANNI RAJ B

Council is in the process of appointing investment bankers for next funding

With plans to manufacture 200 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines per month, IIT Alumni Council is looking to raise ₹700 crore from venture capital and private equity funds, and is planning to enter into partnerships with domestic contract manufacturers.

The council is in the process of appointing investment bankers for the next funding, which would be raised under its ‘India Vaccine Stack’ initiative, the council said in a statement.

The IIT Alumni Council is also in the process of developing a preventive vaccine for Covid-19, for which it had sanctioned ₹300 crore and expects to get an another ₹1,800 crore from its MegaFund initiative.

Fourth generation vaccine

Ravi Sharma, President of the IIT Alumni Council said, “IIT alumni council has taken up the challenge of developing and distributing an indigenous fourth generation vaccine for Covid-19. We have received enormous support from eminent Indian scientists and academicians of global repute, leading industry players including contract manufacturers and clinical trial experts, global equipment suppliers and design firms and startups engaged across the supply chain.”

“We are very hopeful of catalysing the availability of a fourth-generation vaccine at much reduced prices. We also expect to backward-integrate quickly so as to create a robust foundation for RNA-based prophylactics and therapeutics for a wide range of diseases. This will strongly complement our biologics work in the area of monoclonal antibodies,” he added.

IIT Alumni Council, the largest global body of alumni across all the 23 IITs and partnering Institutes of the India Innovation Network (I2Net), is also in talks with domestic contract manufacturers and logistics majors for supplying the vaccines.

Cost reduction

Sanjay Nagi, Project Director of the India Vaccine Stack said, “We have been through the cost reduction and feature enhancement cycle in molecular diagnostics. Simple innovations like pool testing and lyophilisation helped drive down costs and eliminate wastage. Self-amplifying vaccines use the vaccine as a seed for the human body to produce the vaccine itself. This allows for a mRNA type vial of vaccine to be enough for hundred people instead of 10 people.

“This reduces cost by 90 per cent. Our MegaLab antibody initiative has been working on human harvesting and in-body amplification of injected material for over a year now. Our expertise in self-amplification is fairly mature now.”

Published on June 01, 2021

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