Hilleman Laboratories, a joint- venture partnership between pharma major MSD and Wellcome Trust, today said it has received 6 million krona (over Rs 4.8 crore) Indo-Swedish grant to develop oral cholera vaccine.
The proposed project is being jointly funded by India's Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems, Vinnova, Hilleman Laboratories said in a statement.
It will fuel further research and development of the oral cholera vaccine (OCV) with knowledge exchange and transfer of scientists across India and Sweden, it added.
"Considering the urgent need for effective and affordable cholera vaccines, both for use in cholera outbreaks and in mass vaccination campaigns, we would like to accelerate development of our simplified oral cholera vaccine, Hillchol," Hilleman Laboratories CEO Davinder Gill said.
Cholera remains a threat to global public health and is a barometer of health inequity and lack of social development, he added.
"Our partnership with DBT and Vinnova is a step in a new direction. We are gratified by the grant awarded to us, which will help us develop capabilities through cross-border partnerships," Gill said.
The vaccine developed by Hilleman Labs would make mass vaccination a reality in cholera endemic zones due to ease of manufacturing and low cost, thereby improving vaccine affordability and accessibility, Hilleman Laboratories said.
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