Ravi Sharma, alumni council president on Thursday said, Mumbai-based Megalab was set up to drive the fight against pandemic with ideas and money to develop Ayurveda-based covid vaccine which will be first distributed in Mumbai and then elsewhere.
The IIT Alumni Council founded a medical lab called Megalab which has raised seed funding of Rs 300 Crore to develop Ayurveda-based effective coronavirus vaccine that can stop the spread of the deadly virus and prevent infection within a few days of first dose.
Sharma said the seed funding is part of the emergency funds lying with Social Fund, the financing arm of the council and forms part of the Rs 21,000 crore fund raising announced last April in the peak of the first wave of the pandemic.
Adding to his statement Sharma said that the vaccine will be available in next 6 months which will be Ayurveda based that will have both injectable and nasal drops variant, it is expected to be more efficient, with less side effects and work across all the variants of virus that has killed many people of country.
He further said the proposed vaccine is the first antigen-free, novel vaccine that is self-limiting and will be locally manufactured, the discussion for which are already on with drug companies and is based on indigenous technology.
The end objective is to deliver a continuously upgradable vaccine that can outpace the virus thus helping to end the pandemic, Sharma said, adding the vaccine will initially be available to the alumni community only.
Sharma said the new vaccine initiative is being led by Dr Arindam Bose, a Connecticut-based thought leader of the biotechnology industry, chairperson of the therapeutic group in the Covid-19 task force and a senior advisor to the India Vaccine Stack of the Megalab. Bose previously headed the vaccine development division at the global drug giant Pfizer, while Dr Shantaram Kane, an IIT Bombay alumni and a PhD from MIT, is heading the injectable adjuvant and oral/nasal drops components of the India Vaccine Stack.
The Megalab is in discussions with partners including Krsnaa Diagnostics, Kodoy, Koteleo, Platinae, and Brew to divert available technology, laboratory, and manpower resources to accelerate vaccine development and delivery, Sharma said.
The IIT Alumni Council is the largest global body of alumni across all the 23 IITs and partnering institutes of the India Innovation Network. The council is now actively engaged in solving the corona crisis and has formed the Covid task force which has the participation of over 20,000 alumni and includes Mumbai University and ICT Mumbai as institutional partners.