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CSIR-IICT researchers bag CSIR Technology award for contribution towards Covaxin development

A Raju, Hyderabad
Thursday, September 30, 2021, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

A team of researchers from Hyderabad based CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) have bagged CSIR Technology award for the year 2021.

The team, which was led by Dr S Chandrasekhar, director of CSIR-IICT, was recognized for their immense contribution for developing a cost-effective and scalable process for the synthesis of TLR 7/8 agonist molecule (IMDG) used as an adjuvant in Covaxin, Covid-19 vaccine.

According to Dr S Chandrasekhar, the technology helped Hyderabad based vaccine manufacturing firm Bharat Biotech India Limited (BBIL) to upscale the production of Covaxin vaccine to cater to the immunization against the deadly infectious disease of Covid-19 caused by the coronavirus.

At a time when the entire world was reeling under the deadly pandemic and when the borders were sealed not allowing life saving medicines and other chemical raw materials for preparing vaccines and related medicines, the Indian scientists exhibited their excellent skills and developed new processes and by making use of indigenous raw materials that helped develop affordable healthcare providing preventive medicine for crores of people in India, observed Dr. Chandrasekhar.

The IICT director thanked Dr Krishna Ella, chairman and managing director of Bharat Biotech, for opting CSIR-IICT as the partner and taking the services of expert scientists of the lead nationally renowned research institution from Hyderabad.

“Our team worked towards a process that made use of indigenous raw materials that played a significant role in the preparation of Covaxin vaccine. The contribution of IICT scientists is hailed because we could deliver while when the whole word was reeling under Covid pandemic and when there were global restrictions on movement of people and imports of key raw materials,” added Dr. Chandrasekhar.

The process technology for the adjuvant with locally available ingredients demonstrates the efforts of CSIR vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat which was realized under the leadership of Dr. Chandrasekhar.

The CSIR-IICT director is an internationally renowned organic chemist and a recipient of several prestigious awards including the coveted Infosys prize for Chemical Sciences.

He is a Fellow of all three science academies of India. Other team members of the award include, Dr Ch. Raji Reddy, Dr Prathama Mainkar, Dr M Mohana Krishna Reddy, Dr P Nagender and Dr N Jagadeesh Babu.

The awards were announced during the 80th CSIR foundation say celebrations held at Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in New Delhi in presence of M Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President of India and Dr. Jitendra Singh, Minister (S&T and ES) and vice president CSIR.


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