IISC — Bengaluru Startup Developing Heat- tolerant COVID-19 Vaccine
Mynvax, a startup incubated at the Indian Institute of Sciences (IISC) Bengaluru has been developing a COVID-19 vaccine that can be stored in a temperature as high as 37 degree-Celcius.
While all the COVID vaccine- prospects in clinical trials require to be refrigerated with at least a temperature of 4 degrees, the co-founder Raghavan Varadarajan said that the heat tolerant vaccine can also withstand heat of 70 degree Celsius for about 16 hours.
Mnyvax’s team has carried out an extensive animal testing on mice and guinea pigs with promising results so far. With current challenge studies on hamsters in progress, the team is planning to wrap up the animal testing by December.
The biophysicist said that around Rs 15 crore is required for the human testing trials. The vaccination can be licensed by mid-2022, if everything goes in favor. He also said, ‘Once we are able to secure sufficient funding, we will advance it into clinical testing. Right now, we have not yet received the funding to take it forward.’
Currently, the state of Karnataka has around 2,900 cold-chain points providing vaccination to 10.52 lakh children up to the age group of 16 under the routine immunization programme apart from pregnant women.
With COVID-19, the state would need to have cold-chain stores that can cater to a population of 7.7 crore. Hence the development of a heat-tolerant vaccine can become a game changer and provide a solution to the lack of sufficient cold-chain storage facilities in the country.