IIT Guwahati completes technology transfer to roll out the first recombinant vaccine for Swine Fever Virus

Mar 26, 2024

Guwahati (Assam) [India], March 26 : The Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati successfully transferred a pioneering vaccine technology to BioMed Pvt Ltd, a manufacturing company specialising in high-quality vaccines, on Tuesday. This technology entails a recombinant vector vaccine designed to combat the classical swine fever virus in pigs and wild boars, filling a significant gap in India's vaccine landscape.
The lead author of the research from IIT Guwahati explained, "The creation and production of such a recombinant vaccine platform for classical swine fever virus is happening for the first time in India and globally. This disease is a major threat to the pig industry in India, and we don't have a vaccine available for it. This is an excellent achievement for us to transfer the vaccine technology to one of the leaders in the veterinary vaccine sector."
This first recombinant virus-based pig vaccine harnesses a reverse genetic platform pioneered and refined at IIT Guwahati. Swine fever, a highly contagious disease among pigs, poses a severe threat with a high mortality rate, although it does not affect humans. In India, this disease has frequently been observed in northeastern states and Bihar, Kerala, Punjab, Haryana, and Gujarat, among others.
"The vaccine work was started in 2018-2019 through collaborative efforts between researchers from the Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering at IIT Guwahati, and Assam Agricultural University in Guwahati. Their research findings have been published in two papers, featured in Process Biochemistry and Archives of Virology journals," said an IIT Guwahati spokesperson.
This vaccine is being created and produced for the first time in India. The disease poses a significant threat to India's pig industry, and currently, there is no available vaccine.
Transferring the vaccine technology to one of the leaders in the veterinary vaccine sector marks a remarkable achievement.
Reverse genetics stands as a potent method and tool for the development of vaccines targeting both animal and human diseases. The technology has been widely used to develop vaccines against influenza.
In an intriguing approach, researchers have utilised the Newcastle disease virus (NDV), traditionally studied for its pathogenicity in chickens, as a carrier for the essential proteins of the classical swine fever virus. This innovative method facilitates the development of immunity in the body and is characterised by its speed and cost-effectiveness.
At present, the vaccine is in the process of filing a test and analysis licence.