Union Minister for Science and Technology & Earth Sciences Shri S. Jaipal Reddy has congratulated the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), Bharat Biotech (BBIL) and National Institute of Health (NIH) for the successful development of Rotavirus Vaccine in India. Shri Reddy was addressing the Scientists from across the globe here in New Delhi today.
Following is the text of Minister’s speech:
“ Dr. VijayRaghvan, Secretary DBT, Dr. V.M. Katoch, Secretary, D/o Health Research and DG-ICMR, Dr. M.K.Bhan, Former Secretary DBT; Dr. John Boslogo, Director, Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), Dr.Ella Krishnan, CMD, Bharat Biotech (BBIL), Hyderabad, Dr.T.S.Rao Scientists from national & international organisations and officials from Govt. of India.
It gives me great pleasure to be here meeting all of you for this landmark. This has been achieved by close cooperation of Department of Biotechnology, PATH, BBIL & NIH. I have been informed that this project was implemented under Indo-Us Vaccine Action Programme, a bilateral programme initiated under the Gandhi-Reagan Science & Technology Agreement. I congratulate all the collaborators for this wonderful achievement.
As many of you are aware that India has made significant achievements in Vaccine development. We are globally competitive and several Indian manufacturers are WHO qualified. We also produce 60% of the worlds vaccine and account for about 70% of the annual United Nations vaccine purchases. The current Indian vaccine market is estimated at around $900 million. It targets $4.6 billion revenue by 2017 and poised to grow at 23% during 2012-13.
I have been informed that every year about eight million children in the world never make it to their fifth birthday-they are struck down by diseases that we have the means to prevent. Vaccines help prevent killer diseases and are the most cost effective public health products.
I would like to congratulate DBT, NIH,PATH & BBIL for the development of the first indigenously developed rotavirus vaccine in India. This is an important scientific breakthrough against rotavirus infection, one of the most severe and lethal infections which is responsible for 100,000 deaths of small children in India every year. The clinical results indicate that the vaccine could potentially save thousands of children every year in our country. This was implemented in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in close collaboration with Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta and clinical trials conducted by Society for Applied Sciences (SAS), New Delhi; Christian Medical College(CMC), Vellore and KEM Hospital, Pune. I am told that the results were announced this morning during this international symposium on “Rotavirus Vaccine for India-The Evidence and the Promise”. I am proud that we have demonstrated development of rota viral diarrhoea vaccine that can prevent 40% of all diarrhoea cases.
I consider this a true model of successful global partnership between India and USA; involvement of international funding agencies like PATH; scientific experts and appropriate industrial partner; and inter-ministerial involvement with active participation of ICMR, M/o Health & Family welfare.
I am happy to know that ROTAVAC which is developed under this endeavour will be produced on an affordable cost of $1 per dose against the currently available vaccines developed by pharma MNCs which cost $45 per dose.
I would like to congratulate once again the entire members of the consortia and wish all of you success in introduction of this vaccine under the National Immunisation Program of Govt. of India.
On this occasion I would like to remind all of you that our Hon’ble Prime Minister declared 2010-2020 as the Decade of Innovation. Innovation in vaccine R&D and our endeavour towards affordable health must live up to Gandhijis commandment of practicing science with humanism. Innovation in Vaccine R&D in India shall also help us address other grand challenges facing the country like food, nutrition, climate and environment, energy, affordable housing and many others.
I thank and wish you all for excellent job and I personally happy to be the part of this landmark success of Department of Biotechnology under our Ministry of Science & Technology.