Dr. Krishna Ella: RLI’s Essential for Innovative Vaccine Development

    Bharat Biotech Founder Dr. Krishna Ella in his address at the 2023 IPC Congress voiced a strong opinion – Innovative technology in vaccine development is essential. He has been vocal about the need for “Research Linked Incentives (RLIs)” to drive innovation in vaccine development.

    As the world continues to grapple with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of vaccine development has never been more evident.

    According to Dr. Ella, Research Linked Incentive’s are crucial for solving public healthcare problems caused by infectious diseases. He states, “Innovative technology in vaccine development is essential to tackle the public healthcare problems caused by infectious diseases. RLIs will not only help in bringing more vaccines to the market but also in the growth of the industry.”

    This sentiment is echoed by Dr. Ella’s impressive track record in the field. Under his leadership, Bharat Biotech has grown to become a global leader in innovative vaccines. The company’s COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin, is a giant leap for Innovation and novel product development in India.

    He adds, “It is a proud moment for the nation and a great milestone in India’s scientific capability, a kickstart the the innovation ecosystem in India. COVAXIN™ has generated excellent safety data with robust immune responses to multiple viral proteins that persist.

    Furthermore, the global leader in vaccine innovation and developer of vaccines for infectious diseases iNCOVACC® (BBV154), has received approval from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) under Restricted Use in Emergency Situation for ages 18 and above, in India, for heterologous booster doses.

    NCOVACC® is a recombinant replication deficient adenovirus vectored vaccine with a pre-fusion stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. This vaccine candidate was evaluated in phases I, II and III clinical trials with successful results. iNCOVACC® has been specifically formulated to allow intranasal delivery through nasal drops. The nasal delivery system has been designed and developed to be cost-effective in low- and middle-income countries.

    Dr. Rajesh S. Gokhale, Secretary, DBT, and Chairperson, BIRAC, lauded the efforts of the scientific community and said, “DBT is fostering biotech enterprises & innovation ecosystem and strategically strengthening Indian bioeconomy. DBT, along with BIRAC, is dedicated to the development of effective and safe COVID-19 vaccines under Mission COVID Suraksha. The DCGI’s approval of Bharat Biotech’s intranasal vaccine iNCOVACC® (BBV154) to be used as a heterologous booster dose against currently available COVID-19 vaccines is a moment of great pride for our country. This move will further strengthen our collective fight against the pandemic and broaden vaccine coverage.”

    RLI will support the entire industry and startup growth – Dr. Krishna Ella

    But Dr. Krishna Ella isn’t just focused on the success of his own company. He also emphasizes the importance of supporting the entire vaccine industry through RLIs. He explains, “RLIs will encourage more companies to come forward and invest in research and development of vaccines. This will lead to more options for the public and ultimately help in controlling the spread of infectious diseases.”

    As the world continues to face the challenges of COVID-19 and future pandemics, the call for RLIs from leaders like Dr. Ella serves as a reminder of the importance of investing in vaccine development. With the right incentives in place, we can continue to drive innovation and bring new, life-saving vaccines to the market.

    Dr. Krishna Ella was speaking on the sidelines of 72nd Indian Pharmaceutical Conference (IPC).

    “Research Linked Incentive for Indian companies is very important. I would request the ministry to give tax breaks to any product that is created from patent filed in India. It will inspire entrepreneurs to go for innovation,” Dr. Ella said.

    Addressing the attendees at the 72nd IPC, Dr V G Somani, Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), had said the Centre was all set to introduce a RLI programme shaped on the lines of the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme to boost research and development of biotech products in the country.

    When asked about the need for three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine instead of just one, Dr. Krishna Ella said his company was working on the issue.


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