Ella Foundation conducts research into H1N1 virus

Learn about Ella Foundation's efforts to sequence and analyse the Indian H1N1 virus, and how their expertise is advancing the fight against infectious diseases.

February 23, 2015

Dr. Krishna Ella leaning against a wall, wearing a hazmat suit, standing next to a large glass window that provides a view of a sealed clean room or biomedical facility. Other scientists in hazmat suits can be seen working inside the facility.
Dr. Krishna Ella leaning against a wall, wearing a hazmat suit, standing next to a large glass window that provides a view of a sealed clean room or biomedical facility. Other scientists in hazmat suits can be seen working inside the facility.

Hyderabad-based biotechnology company Bharat Biotech's CMD, Krishna Ella, has announced that the company has begun the process to sequence the Indian H1N1 virus in order to determine if there are any mutations. The process to identify the virulence of the swine flu virus, as well as to genotype it and collect a large number of samples from patients in India who have tested positive for swine flu, has already begun through the efforts of a group of researchers and microbiologists from Ella Foundation.

H1N1, commonly known as swine flu, has been a concern for public health officials worldwide since the pandemic outbreak in 2009. The influenza A virus is highly contagious, with symptoms including fever, cough, and sore throat. In severe cases, it can lead to pneumonia and respiratory failure, which can be fatal.

Leading the effort to sequence H1N1 virus in India

Ella Foundation, the non-profit arm of Bharat Biotech, with its expertise in developing vaccines for infectious diseases, is well-positioned to undertake the sequencing and analysis of the Indian H1N1 virus.

The sequencing of the Indian H1N1 virus is crucial in determining any genetic changes that may have occurred, which can impact the virulence of the virus and the effectiveness of existing vaccines. By genotyping the virus and collecting samples from patients, the researchers can better understand the transmission dynamics of the virus and develop more targeted interventions to control its spread.

The efforts of the researchers and microbiologists from Ella Foundation are an important step forward in the fight against H1N1. With their expertise and dedication, they are contributing to the body of knowledge on infectious diseases and helping to develop better strategies to protect public health.

In order to deal with outbreaks, the drug manufacturing company is also in the process of building an inventory of bulk vaccines so that in future the response time is reduced. According to the CMD, it takes at least a minimum of three months to manufacture a vaccine and involves a lot of planning.

“We are constantly in touch with the Government over H1N1 vaccine and hoping that the authorities too would reach out to drug manufacturing companies like ours before the seasonal outbreaks,” Dr. Krishna Ella said.

The top drug manufacturer lamented that viral outbreaks among tribal population, especially in Telangana, are going unnoticed. “There is Chandipura virus that is becoming quite common among tribal population. Young children in tribal families are dying within hours but we are not able to explain the reasons for it. There is a need for Government and private institutions to collaborate in such issues,” Dr. Ella felt.

In an attempt to make the human body respond to vaccines, Bharat Biotech is pursuing an ambitious Vaccine Adjuvant Programme. The drug manufacturing company is collaborating with Director, Emory Vaccine Centre, United States, Dr. Rafi Ahmed in this programme. Adjuvants are used to improve the body’s immune response to vaccines and are usually added to vaccines to improve body immunity, Dr. Krishna explained.

About Ella Foundation

ELLA FOUNDATION is a non-profit autonomous research organisation dedicated to research, development and training in various facets of modern biology. Its mission is to generate knowledge for human and animal health, and contribute to economic advancement through research and development (R&D) in contemporary biomedical and veterinary sciences, besides working on traditional projects.

The Foundation is located in the middle of Genome Valley in Hyderabad and draws collaboration from regional, national, as well as international public and private organisations. Established in 2002, the Foundation is engaged in basic and applied research to tackle human and animal diseases, and is recognised by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Government of India as an independent R&D organisation.

Ella Foundation drives R&D as an adventure, employing state-of-the-art techniques to advance microbe-caused disease understanding.

Genome Valley, Shameerpet

Hyderabad – 500078

Telangana, India

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