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The government of India will partner with pharma company Panacea Biotec and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to develop vaccine candidates to provide broad protection against SARS-COV-2 variants and other betacoronaviruses, a release stated on Monday. 

“CEPI will partner with a consortium comprised of the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI ), an autonomous institute of the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, and Panacea Biotec to develop vaccine candidates," the release read. 

“CEPI will provide funding of up to $12 million to support the development of multi-epitope, nanoparticle-based vaccine candidates and advance the manufacturing process," it added. 

It stated that for this purpose, the lead antigen will be designed and selected n through proof-of-concept preclinical studies, after which, CEPI undertake initial clinical development through Phase 1/II studies.

“Over the past two years, coronaviruses have demonstrated their pandemic potential with devastating effect. SARS-CoV -2 - the virus that causes Covid-19 - will not be the last coronavirus to infect humans, and there's nothing to stop the next one being even more deadly or contagious. It's therefore vital for global health security that we invest now in research to develop vaccines that are broadly protective against variants of SARS-CoV -2 and other coronaviruses before they emerge," said Dr Richard Hatchett, CEO of CEPI. 

“Indian scientists and industry have played a central role in the global fight against Covid19, so I am proud to work with our Indian partners THSTI, a leading research institution, and Panacea Biotec, a vaccine manufacturer with a proven track record of delivering WHO prequalified vaccines, to advance our mission to develop globally accessible vaccines with the potential to prevent the next pandemic," he added. 

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