Bengaluru: The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, has set up a Covid-19 vaccine testing centre at the viral Bio-Safety Level -3 (BSL-3) facility which is located within the Centre for Infectious Disease Research (CIDR).
The vaccine testing centre is funded by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council under the Department of Biotechnology (DBT-BIRAC). The lab has been helping the industry partners to evaluate Covid-19 antibodies.
The centre will test solutions to tackle the pandemic from vaccines to anti virals to materials and equipment with the help of academic and industry partners. Tests will be conducted via fee-for- service model said the Institute.
“The DBT-BIRAC support will allow the augmentation of the existing facility with high-end equipment and initial support for personnel operating the facility. Research will also be conducted to develop high-throughput assays for evaluating antivirals and vaccines against SARS-Cov-2”, according to IISc.
In addition to SARS-CoV-2, the facility will also support the development of anti-virals and vaccines against other viral pathogens responsible for diseases such as influenza, dengue, chinkungunya and HIV through a similar fee-for-service collaboration with academic and industry partners.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the division of the biological sciences at IISc had commissioned the establishment of dedicated viral BSL-3 facility at CIDR with the funding of DBT-IISc partnership to support research into highly pathogenic human viruses.
The construction of the facility was completed in October 2020, and it became operational in January 2021 with all the necessary standard operational procedures (SOPs). It was made available to the academia labs within and outside IISc. Further the industry could also access the facility to train personnel and carry out antiviral research.
By February this year, the lab which studies the emerging viral pathogens began working on establishing cell culture and animal models to study SARS-Cov-2 in the viral BSL-3 facility.