April 8: Cadila Pharmaceuticals Limited announced on Friday the development of a novel recombinant G-protein rabies nanoparticle vaccine.
The vaccine, which will be launched across India later this month, is a three-dose vaccine administered as a 50 microgram dose on days 0, 3 and 7, unlike existing regimens which require five doses spread over 28 days.
The vaccine – ThRabis – is developed using Virus-Like Particle (VLP) technology, and is priced at ₹715 per dose, thus costing the entire treatment at around ₹2,100.
“ThRabis is a major breakthrough vaccine that can help prevent many rabies-related deaths. Unlike other approved rabies vaccines, ThRabis is a three-dose vaccine and is administered within one week. This ensures clinical efficacy with only three doses in seven days, and will improve compliance to complete the vaccine course,” said Suresh Gupta, President, National Affairs, Cadila Pharmaceuticals.
The society organized an awareness campaign in Ahmedabad, “Cadila Against Rabies”, attended by leading experts from the Association for Rabies Prevention and Control in India (APCRI), Founding President and Mentor Dr MK Sudarshan, President DH Ashwath Narayana, General Secretary Sumit Poddar, and Treasurer HS Ravish, and other leading experts.
“With this innovative three-dose vaccine, many more lives will be saved – lives that continue to be lost to a preventable disease like rabies. This vaccine can be a game-changer in our global flight to eliminate rabies through to an easier and more convenient way,” said Rajiv Modi, CMD, Cadila Pharmaceuticals.
Victims of animal bites
According to company estimates, rabies kills 59,000 animal bite victims worldwide each year, primarily in Asia and Africa.
More than 20,000 people die in India alone, mainly because the victims do not complete the full course of the available vaccine.
VLP vaccine development technology is self-assembled from recombinant G proteins produced from genes cloned into baculovirus expression vectors and expressed in Spodoptera frugiperda (Sf9) insect cells.
The vaccine generates antibodies against the rabies G protein, leading to neutralization of the virus, and prevents the virus from attaching to the cell to confer protection against rabies.
Cadila Pharmaceuticals had tested the immunogenicity and safety of the three doses of the new vaccine in phase I/II and phase III clinical trials in healthy volunteers as well as in preclinical models.
The vaccine’s safety and immunogenicity have been established in trials, the company said in a statement.
ThRabis is intramuscular and less painful for recipients and also convenient for physicians as it does not require reconstitution before use.
April 08, 2022