"A dengue vaccine might be ready in five years", Navin Khanna, ICGEB New Delhi

Navin Khanna
, Group Leader of the Mammalian Biology: Recombinant Gene Products lab at ICGEB New Delhi, works extensively on developing affordable diagnostic kits for the detection of Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV.

In October 2014, a diagnostic kit for Celiac Disease developed by the group was commercially launched.

A Dengue diagnostic kit has been his most recent success story, as 12 million dengue tests have been sold in India. Current research efforts on dengue vaccine candidates are being supported by Wellcome Trust and the NIH as well as by the Indo-US Vaccine Action Program and the Indo-Canadian IMPACTS program.

"The Wellcome Trust has helped us to file a PCT on our "Four-in-one" VLP based dengue vaccine candidate on Aug 21st", says Khanna. "Our vaccine is capable of producing serotype specific neutralizing antibodies to each DENV serotype in the absence of any diseases enhancing antibodies. No other DENV vaccine approaches can create this unique immune response.

In addition, our Dengue Day 1 test has captured >80% of Indian market share. The National Institute of Virology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Christian Medical College and all four southern states of India (Govt hospitals) use our dengue test.

We also have several patents on an anti-dengue herbal extract, which effectively lowers the virus load and exciting work is in progress in this field.

Several Indian companies are now showing keen interest in our unique dengue vaccine candidate."

The Emory-India research partnership received an NIH award for the study dengue virus infection earlier this year. This constitutes a competitive grant programme aimed at US and collaborating foreign institutions studying infectious diseases of public health significance in resource-contrained countries.

Press releases:

22 September 2015
Tehelka.com: A vaccine might be ready in five years

18 May 2015
Emory news center: Emory-India research partnership receives NIH award

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