Cadila Pharma launches world’s first novel three-dose rabies vaccine ThRabis
In an important breakthrough, pharma major Cadila Pharmaceuticals has developed a novel three-dose recombinant nano-particle-based rabies G protein vaccine, ThRabis. Aiming at a Rabies-Free India, the novel vaccine was launched by Cadila this month with the campaign “One, Two, Three. Rabies Free.” A press release from the company said all existing rabies vaccine regimens require five injections spread over 28 days to complete the full regimen. Many animal bite victims are unable to complete the full course of the vaccine due to their complicated dosing schedule, frequent visits to the hospital or clinic and potential loss of income associated with these visits. This leaves many victims unprotected and susceptible to developing rabies, which is a fatal condition, it pointed out.
The ‘Cadila Against Rabies’ event held in Ahmedabad was attended by key experts from the Association for the Prevention and Control of Rabies in India (APCRI), including its founder President and mentor Dr. M K Sudarshan; President Dr. D H Ashwath Narayana; Secretary General Dr. Sumit Poddar, and Treasurer Dr. H S Ravish. They spoke about the need to eradicate rabies and appreciated Cadila Pharmaceuticals’ efforts. The panel discussion was followed by the launch of ThRabis. “With this three-dose innovative vaccine, many more lives will be saved — lives that continue to be lost to a preventable disease like Rabies. This vaccine can be a game-changer in our global flight to eliminate rabies through a simpler and more convenient regimen. Continuing our journey of making affordable innovations available to the last man in society, ThRabis is one more addition to our portfolio of indigenous innovations,” Dr. Rajiv Modi, Chairman and Managing Director, Cadila Pharmaceuticals, said.
It is estimated that globally, rabies kills 59,000 animal bite victims every year, mainly in Asia and Africa. Over 20,000 people die in India alone, mainly because many animal bite victims do not complete the full course of the available vaccine, the release said. ThRabis is prepared by using Virus-Like Particle (VLP) technology. The VLPs self-assemble from this recombinant G protein which is produced from genes cloned into baculovirus expression vectors and expressed in Spodoptera frugiperda (Sf9) insect cells. The vaccine generates antibodies against rabies G protein, which leads to virus neutralisation, as well as prevents virus attachment to the cell to confer protection against rabies. Cadila Pharmaceuticals successfully tested immunogenicity and safety of three doses, i.e. 50 µg (microgram) on days 0, 3 and 7 of the novel vaccine in Phase-I/II and Phase-III clinical trials in healthy volunteers as well as preclinical models. The safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine were established in the trials. Besides being convenient, ThRabis is an intramuscular vaccine and less painful for the recipients. It is also extremely convenient for doctors as it is a ready to use vaccine and does not require reconstitution prior to use (adding water for injection and mixing it thoroughly).“ThRabis is a major breakthrough vaccine that can help in preventing many rabies related deaths. Unlike other approved rabies vaccines, ThRabis is a three-dose vaccine and is administered within a week. This ensures clinical effectiveness with just three doses in seven days, and will improve compliance to complete the vaccine course,” said Suresh Gupta, President, Domestic Business, Cadila Pharmaceuticals. Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd. is one of the largest privately-held pharmaceutical companies in India.