NEW DELHI: The Centre on Wednesday invited Expression of Interest (EOI) for developing vaccines against Monkeypox.
The EOI documents states that Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is willing to make available Monkeypox Virus strain/isolates for undertaking research and development validation.
The ICMR also invited EOI from experienced vaccine manufacturers, pharma companies, research and development institutions and in-vitro diagnostic (IVD) kit manufacturers for joint collaboration in development of vaccine candidate against Monkeypox and diagnostic kits for the infection.
It also entails manufacturing activities using characterized isolates of Monkeypox virus under the joint collaboration in the public-private partnership mode for development of vaccine candidate against Monkeypox disease and diagnostic kits for diagnosis of the infection.
“The ICMR is in possession of characterised Monkeypox virus isolates/strain and is thereby willing to collaborate with experienced vaccine manufacturer as well as the in-vitro diagnostics (IVD) manufacturers on Royalty basis on fixed term contract condition for undertaking R&D and manufacturing activities for Joint development and validation of 5 potential vaccine candidate against Monkeypox disease, development of diagnostic kit (IVD), for detection of the Monkeypox virus leading to product development,” the EOI document said.
The firm(s)/organisation(s) would be granted rights to undertake further R&D, manufacture, sell, and commercialize the end product(s) ‘vaccine candidate/IVD’ against the Monkeypox disease under defined Agreement,” the document said.
ICMR reserves all the Intellectual Property Rights and Commercialization rights on the Monkeypox virus isolates and its method/ protocols for purification, propagation and characterisation, the EOI document stated.
The development comes amid India reporting four cases of Monkeypox — three from Kerala and one from Delhi — so far.
Centre issues guidelines
The Centre also issued ‘Guidelines on Management of Monkeypox Disease’ and stated that human-to-human transmission occurs primarily through large respiratory droplets generally requiring prolonged close contact.
It can also be transmitted through direct contact with body fluids or lesions, and indirect contact with lesion material such as through contaminated clothing or linen of an infected person.
Animal-to-human transmission may occur by bite or scratch of infected animals or through bush meat preparation.
The incubation period is usually from six to 13 days and the case fatality rate of Monkeypox has historically ranged up to 11 per cent in the general population and higher among children. In recent times, the case fatality rate has been around three to six per cent.
The symptoms include lesions which usually begin within one to three days from the onset of fever, lasting for around two to four weeks and are often described as painful until the healing phase when they become itchy. A notable predilection for palm and soles is characteristic of Monkeypox, the guidelines stated.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Saturday declared Monkeypox a global public health emergency of international concern. Globally, over 16,000 cases of Monkeypox have been reported from 75 countries and there have been five deaths so far.
According to WHO, Monkeypox is a viral zoonosis – a virus transmitted to humans from animals – with symptoms similar to smallpox although clinically less severe.
Monkeypox typically manifests itself with fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes and may lead to a range of medical complications. It is usually a self-limited disease with symptoms lasting for two to four weeks.
(With agency inputs)