The central government on Wednesday invited an expression of interest (EOI) for developing a vaccine against the monkeypox virus. The government has invited EoI from the experienced vaccine manufacturers, In-Vitro Diagnostic (IVD) kit manufacturers for joint collaboration in developing of vaccine candidate against the monkeypox disease. Last date for submission of EOI is 10 August.
Also, diagnostic kit manufacturers have been asked to develop diagnostic kits for infections.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has sought bids from both and reported that they are ready to make monkeypox virus strains available.
The ICMR statement said, “ICMR is lawfully entitled to enter into any form of non-exclusive agreements with experienced drug, pharma, vaccine, IVD manufacturers through defined agreement for undertaking R&D (research and development)as well as manufacturing activities using characterized monkeypox virus isolates of ICMR for development of vaccine against monkeypox disease or diagnostic kit for diagnosis of monkeypox virus.”
Several pharmaceutical companies are reportedly in talks with the government to develop a potential monkeypox vaccine.
There have been four cases of monkeypox in India so far. Of the confirmed cases, three are from Kerala and one from New Delhi.
Monkeypox typically manifests itself with fever, headache, rashes for up to three weeks, sore throat, cough and swollen lymph nodes
Symptoms include sores, which usually begin within one to three days of the onset of fever, last for around two to four weeks and are often described as painful until the healing phase when they turn itchy.