Mr. Adar Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute of India, Dr. Prasad Kulkarni, with Mr. Marks S Klempner and Dr. Michael F Collins (left to right) of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, at a press conference in Mumbai.
Serum Institute of India has launched two new products - Rotasiil and Rabishield for rotavirus causing diarrhoea and rabies respectively. The newly developed Rabishield anti-rabies immunoglobulin is the world's first recombinant rabies monoclonal antibody to prevent Rabies, a fatal disease which is estimated to cause two deaths every hour in India. Rabishield has been developed in research partnership with Massachusetts Medical School, USA. "Rabishield will be 25 percent cheaper than the existing rabies immunoglobulins, it would meet the needs of the poor countries," said Adar Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute of India, while launching the vaccines in Mumbai."
Rotasiil rotavirus vaccine is the world's first thermostable pentavalent Rotavirus vaccine containing the G9 strain to help prevent the spread of rotavirus which causes diarrhoea mostly in babies. It is reported that around 100,000 rotavirus related deaths occur in India. Poonawalla said Serum's scientists have been working on this rotavirus vaccine for the last eight years and the heat-stable vaccine was developed to overcome the absence of cold-chain in many poor countries.
Dr. Rajeev Dhere, executive director of the Serum Institute, under whose leadership this vaccine was made said, "The Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd's rotavirus vaccine BRV-PV called as ROTASIIL would be safe will provide significant efficacy against severe rotavirus gastroenteritis. ROTASIIL could save the lives of tens of thousands of children each year in India and, potentially, around the world.'
The international non-profit organization PATHpartnered with Serum Institute on evaluating this vaccine in the Phase 3 efficacy study.
'This is great news for India,' noted Dr. David Kaslow, PATH's vice president for Essential Medicines and global head of the Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access. 'The results and successful licensure of this rotavirus vaccine is an exciting and encouraging milestone toward the public health goal of improving the supply of affordable rotavirus vaccines, both in India and worldwide.'