New Anthrax Vaccine Developed in India

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The genetically engineered anthrax antigen can also be modified to create an anthrax vaccine for use in livestock.

Moving Toward Commercialization

The vaccine will soon undergo toxicity testing, followed by human trials. While there are many hurdles still to be overcome, the Indian team is optimistic that the new vaccine will stand the scrutiny.

India's science minister Murli Manohar Joshi, told a crowded press conference Monday that India is fast-tracking the regulatory procedure and hopes to have the vaccine available in six to nine months to ensure that the "masses get the much needed vaccine on time."

Panacea Biotech, an Indian biotechnology company, has purchased the anthrax vaccine technology and will produce the vaccine commercially.

"If all goes on schedule we hope to market the new anthrax vaccine worldwide in the next six to nine months at a very nominal price," said Rajesh Jain, director of Panacea Biotech. The final pricing will be worked out once the product goes through regulatory clearance, he said.

"Given the urgent and unexpected need for new and improved methods of treating and preventing anthrax infections, research on anthrax vaccines has surfaced to the forefront of biomedical research in the world," said Fuchs. "Dr. Bhatnagar's research has the potential for contributing to these efforts."

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