PM Modi reviews India’s progress on the development of vaccine, drugs, diagnostic test kits

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi conducted a meeting of the task force on Coronavirus vaccine development. PM Modi took the review of endeavour in vaccine development, drug discovery, and efforts taken in diagnosis and testing for a three-pronged approach to control the novel coronavirus.

A press release on Modi’s official website stated, “The review by the PM took note of the extraordinary coming together of academia, industry and government, combined with the speedy but efficient regulatory process. The PM desired that such coordination and speed should be embedded into a standard operating procedure”.

Regarding vaccine development, the Prime Minister’s Office stated that Indian vaccine firms have come across as innovators in early-stage vaccine development research. The PMO also stated the contributions made by the Indian academia and start-ups pioneering in this domain. Now, there are over 30 Indian vaccines are in different stages of corona vaccine development, with a few going on to the trial stages.

For drug development, PM Modi observed the three approaches being taken into consideration–repurposing of at least four existing drugs, development of new candidate drugs and molecules and plant extracts and products being examined for general anti-viral properties.

Modi also observed that new tests have been developed both for the RT-PCR approach and for the antibody detection by several academic research institutions and start-ups, and also the linkage of laboratories across the country has considerably scaled up capacity for both tests.

The release stated, “The problem of importing reagents for testing has been addressed by consortia of Indian start-ups and industry, meeting current requirements. The current thrust also holds promise for the development of a robust long-term industry in this area”.

PM Modi praised the endeavours of Indian scientists. PM noted that the innovative and original manner in which Indian scientists, from basic to applied sciences, have come together, with industry is invigorating. “This kind of pride, originality and sense of purpose should dominate our approach going ahead. It is only then that we can be amongst the best in the world and not followers, in science”, the release stated.