In November 2020, the Government of India allocated the third stimulus package of Rs. 900 crore (US$ 123.26 million) for the ‘Mission COVID Suraksha- The Indian COVID-19 Vaccine Development Mission’ to the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) for research & development of Indian COVID-19 vaccines. This stimulus package will help accelerate the development of ~5-6 vaccine candidates and ensure that these are brought closer to licensure and introduction in the market.
Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) established by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) is aimed at strengthening and empowering the emerging biotechnology enterprises to undertake strategic research and innovation. In October 2020, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. announced partnership with BIRAC, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India, for advisory support on clinical trials of Sputnik V vaccine in India.
National Biopharma Mission, ‘Innovate India’ 2017, a DBT programme worth US$ 250 million, aims to bring together industry and academia in order to promote entrepreneurship and indigenous manufacturing in biopharma.
The Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare introduced new Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules, 2019, changing the regulatory landscape to approve new drugs and conduct clinical trials in the country. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) selected 12 institutes for the clinical trials of the country’s first indigenous COVID-19 vaccine. In 2020, ICMR developed indigenous COVID-19 vaccine (BBV152 COVID) in partnership with Bharat Biotech International Limited.