PUNE: Syringes for the treatment of measles in
children will soon be replaced by inhalable measles vaccine if the human trials,
to be conducted in Pune, succeed. The trials for the inhalable vaccine will
begin in the city next month after permission from the Drug Controller General
of India (DCGI), Rajeev Dhere, senior director of Pune-based Serum Institute of
India (SII), told TOI on Saturday.
Developed by scientists from the University of Colorado (USA), the refined
powdered vaccine simply needs to be inhaled. "If found fit on all parameters
during the human trials, the inhalable vaccine will make existing measles
injections obsolete and the treatment more affordable. Of course, it is a long
way to go before we achieve this goal," said Dhere. The SII is the sub-licensee
of the powdered inhalable measles vaccine in India.
"The Serum Institute of India knows better about the launch date of the human
trial," said the vaccine's creator Robert E Sievers via an e-mail reply to TOI
Sievers is a professor at the department of chemistry and biochemistry and
Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology at the University of Colorado.
The new vaccine would be particularly useful in poor countries such as India,
where two thirds of all measles deaths occur, said Dhere.
More than 1,64,000 children die of the disease every year – the equivalent of
almost 450 deaths every day, according to the World Health Organisation.
Called 'carbondioxide assisted nebulisation', the technique of powdered
inhalable vaccine has been developed by the University of Colorado and the Aktiv
Dry, a pharma research firm in Denvar. Akctiv Dry is the principal investigator.
"The inhalable vaccine has been found fit on all parameters during animal trials
in the US," said Dhere.
"The human trials of the vaccine will be in three phases stretching at times to
years," said Prasad Kulkarni, additional medical director of SII.
The Bill Melinda Gates Foundation has given grants to Colorado University to
develop the vaccine, Dhere said.
- Times of India