The Ahmedabad-based pharmaceutical company, Zydus Cadila, could be the first Indian company to develop a vaccine for swine flu. The flu, which is caused by the deadly H1N1 virus, has already killed more than 900 people in the country. The company, which is listed on the bourses as Cadila Healthcare Ltd, boasts of an annual turnover of Rs3,000 crore.
It expects to make the vaccine available in the market by April this year. The company has started clinical trials of the vaccine to test its effectiveness, after it received the go-ahead from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI).
The egg-based, inactivated vaccine has been developed by the company’s team of experts using conventional technology at the company’s Vaccine Technology Centre in Ahmedabad.
With this development, Zydus Cadila has surged ahead of other pharmaceutical and biotech companies in India in developing a vaccine for the H1N1 virus. Despite their best efforts, no other company has been able to get an approval from the DCGI for clinical trials of their vaccine.
Cadila Pharmaceutical Ltd, another Gujarat-based company, is also confident of getting DCGI approval soon for clinical trials of its swine flu vaccine.