Zika vaccine claim: Hope or hype?

… Bharat Biotech, announced last week that his company is probably the first in the world to file a “global patent” for its vaccines against the virus…The company said it started work on the vaccines a year ago using “live” Zika virus.

I m Bhavin Sasapra

Bengaluru: An Indian biotech company’s “breakthrough” claim that it has developed two “candidate vaccines” against the Zika virus – while being hailed as a ‘made in India’ product – has alarmed some virologists.

Krishna Ella, managing director of Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, announced last week that his company is probably the first in the world to file a “global patent” for its vaccines against the virus that is suspected to cause birth defects and neurological problems and is terrorizing Brazil and other countries in South America. The company said it started work on the vaccines a year ago using “live” Zika virus. But, despite repeated requests from IANS, neither Ella nor the company’s spokesperson revealed from where or when the company got this virus.

“It is a serious question,” said Kalyan Banerjee, a renowned virologist and former director of the National Institute of Virology in Pune, a premier laboratory under the…

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