ICMR has issued an invitation to makers of vaccines to formulate a vaccine against Kyasanur Forest Disease

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The Kyasanur Forest Disease Vaccine (KFDV) isolate will be used in R&D activities by experienced vaccine manufacturers, pharmaceutical corporations, and research and development organisations for the development of a vaccine against KFD and its manufacture or commercialization. In order to create a novel vaccine candidate with improved efficacy and recipient safety, the ICMR-National Institute of Virology (NIV) Pune has isolated and analysed KFDV isolates from recent KFD outbreaks in Karnataka State.

KFD is a highly contagious viral infection that is spread by ticks that have been exposed to monkeys or other wild animals. There is currently no effective treatment for KFD. In order to control KFD, vaccination is therefore seen as a crucial public health strategy.

A formalin-inactivated indigenous KFD vaccine administered intramuscularly to a susceptible population has been found to significantly lower the incidence rate. It is advised to administer the first booster shot approximately 6 to 9 months after the main immunisation because the vaccine-induced immunity is transient. Thereafter, administering the annual booster shot is advised for five years following the last confirmed case in the region. Recent data indicate that KFD cases do, however, occasionally return in vaccine recipients, which suggests that the existing vaccine or immunisation procedure may not be as effective as it may be.

To collaborate with ICMR on the development and validation of vaccine candidates, interested businesses or manufacturers with proven skills in vaccine manufacturing are invited. According to this EoI, manufacturers or businesses that are responsive and meet all the technical requirements will be shortlisted based on their R&D strategy, facilities, capabilities, and proven track record of manufacturing vaccines. A single Request for Proposal (RFP) will be provided with the selected contenders after the selection of technically suitable businesses. In accordance with the appropriate revenue sharing policy of ICMR, technically qualified bidders will be asked to provide complete technical details together with their financial proposal at the RFP stage. Candidates will be chosen based on the RFP stage offers they submitted. Only qualified businesses or manufacturers will be contacted to sign MoAs, Memorandums of Understanding, or Agreements for partnerships, collaborations, or the transfer of technology.

From the ICMR website (https://www.icmr.gov.in), you can obtain the EOI Document that contains information on the qualification requirements, submission requirements, a brief objective, the scope of work, and the evaluation criteria. You can send the EOI to jitendra.narayan@gov.in via email. Only the organizations/firms who have been shortlisted will be contacted for the next round. Without incurring any duty or obligation for such EOI and without giving any explanation, ICMR reserves the right to revoke this EOI and/or issue a new invitation with or without revisions. The information provided at this time is suggestive, and ICMR has the right to change or add further information to the EOI as required by the organization’s responsible authority, with due notice posted on its website.

There are currently no viable treatments, and the inactivated whole virus vaccine is ineffective in controlling KFDV infection and relieving the strain on India’s public health system. After being identified in 1965, the seed virus for the current KFD vaccination P9605 underwent many passages in mice. The present vaccine is inactivated with formalin and is not approved by the WHO. However, the existing vaccine, which was created based on the strain of KFD that was discovered in the early 1970s, does not appear to be effective against the strain that is currently circulating.

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